Barrie-Muskoka Fishing

[ Background | Equipment | Where ]

Background of the Sport

Fishing off the dock is the easiest way to fish This sport began as a way of catching food, and though it has become a sport, and it's one where you eat what you win (except for "catch & release" fishing)! The concept behind fishing is that you attach either bait or a lure to a line attached to a fishing rod, and the fish will eventually (hopefully) think its food, swallow the bait, get hooked, and you get to reel the fish in. Fishing is a relaxing sport (and requires or teaches patience), helps you to unwind, and you can enjoy your natural surroundings--at least until a fish bites.

Fishing can be done from shore, from a pier, or from a boat. The choice will depend on where you are and what kind of fish you are seeking. Once you have picked a sport, you need to select your tackle, either using bait on a hook or a lure. After attaching it to your line, you need to place the bait where you think the fish are. This is called casting, and is done by extending the line a bit and flicking the rod behind you and then forward to use inertia to get the tackle far out into the water. You then reel in the tackle, trying to mimic the movements of the animal your bait is trying to mimic.

Another popular variant on fishing is ice fishing, where you fish through a hole in the ice (often protected by a heated hut or a tent). This usually uses a shorter rod, and is popular in many parts of the country where longer winters create thick ice giving access to deepwater fishing spots to all.

It is considered sportsmanlike practice to keep only those fish you plan to eat. Return the rest for others to catch. Please respect the environment, by not littering, and by not being overly noisy. You should also make sure you comply with provincial regulations regarding fishing seasons, required permits (more on this later)


Youth getting fishing lures ready In order to go fishing you need a rod & reel and some basic tackle. There are several kinds of rod & reel for either spincasting (best for beginners) or for fly fishing. You can buy these separately, or in combination. You need to select your line to suit your fish and your rod & reel, though today monofilament made of a single strand of plastic is most prevalent. The "terminal tackle" at the fish catching end of the line may include any of a number of elements: the hook for bait or a lure, a snap swivel (particularly when using spinning lures), a sinker (to hold the hook down), a bobber (to keep it up, say above weeds). You will also need a tackle box, needlenose pliers, nail clippers, a bucket, a net (for landing the caught fish), and optionally a camera.

The choice of bait or lures depends on what you're fishing for, the time of year, your fishing philosophy, and sometimes local rules. Typical live bait includes earthworms, minnows and assorted garden "crawlers." Lures tend to be more expensive, but present several advantages: they are durable, you can pre-pack a variety to suit any fishing excursion and they are heavier making it easier to cast in windy conditions. Some of the accessories to help make your fishing trip safer and more fun include: hats (for shade), sunscreen, insect repellent, life jackets (absolutely when fishing from a boat, but also for kids along the shore), a first aid kit, and waterproof boots or waders.

Ontario Fishing Rules
You do not need a Resident Fishing License if you are under 18 or over 65 years of age, or a disabled person who is an Ontario resident. Residents require an Outdoors Card with a Fishing Sticker attached to be valid.

Non residents under the age of 18 may fish without a licence as long as they are accompanied by a licensed adult. Non residents do not require an Outdoors Card.

Ontario Residents

$10.00 one day, $15 seasonal, $7.50 Conservation Catch.


$55 annual, $80.00 Spousal License (2 people), $35.00 7-day, $21.00 7-day Conservation Catch.

National Parks

Licences for fishing in our National Parks can be purchased at park information centres, administration, campgrounds, wardens offices and some fishing shops. The cost is $13 per year, or $6 for a seven day permit for all persons.


Georgian Bay, off of the larger Lake Huron, is known for its rugged landscape which inspired the legendary Group of Seven artists. Fish in this area include small and large-mouth bass, northern pike, pickerel, muskie, and salmon. Fishing is generally best is best from late evening, through the night, until early morning.

Owen Sound
In Owen Sound, five rivers emptying into the 13-mile-long bay, and you can catch Chinook salmon (some up to 35 pounds), rainbow trout or brown trout.

  • Fish from one of Owen Sound's four public launching ramps, including the six lane ramp just north of the Harry Lumley-Bayshore Community Centre.
  • Fish off the Owen Sound Harbour Wall (popular in late summer & fall for Chinook salmon, and late fall & early spring for trout)

    Fishing by boat is allowed anywhere in Kempenfelt Bay, which is home to Perch, Bass, Whitefish, Walleye, and Lake Trout. Since there are no boat rental services right on Kempenfelt Bay, bring your own boat to launch at Barrie's public boat launches, or cast from anywhere along the shoreline except from docks, beaches, or the duck pond. Shoreline fishing along Barrie's waterfront is permitted except T:
  • At the docks at the foot of Bayfield St., and at the Southshore Community Centre
  • Near all public beaches
  • At the Rotary Duck Pond (along the south shore of Kempenfelt Bay at Allandale Station Park) You can also fish on Barrie's Little Lake, which is good for catching pike, pickerel, crappie, perch, and largemouth bass. Beginning anglers seem to have the most luck with live bait. In hot weather, boat fishing works better in deeper cooler water (and also helps you to avoid weeds).

    Ice fishing (or early season fishing) can catch whitefish and lake trout. Canning's Fish Hut Rentals (705-721-8500)


  • Barrie Sports Search:  

    Sports Search Form...