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group of people ice fishing on the lake in the thousand islandsAnglers take notice. There’s a lot of great fishing in the 1000 Islands region. The vast waters of the 1000 Islands, St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario are a favourite for catching small and large mouth bass, northern pike, perch, walleye, bull-head, channel cats and the mighty muskellunge (a.k.a. – the mighty Muskie) and guided fishing trips are a tradition in these waters.

And due to the vastness of the St. Lawrence River and 1000 Islands, it’s very realistic for you to reel in the big one! For novice anglers, those travelling to the area (without fishing gear), or those looking to better navigate the waters in the 1000 Islands region, there are several great choices for guided fishing charters. Consider guides such as 1000 Islands Fishing Charters lead by 25 year experienced guide Chris, with all equipment provided and fishing licenses available onsite. Or consider booking your charter through Dan’s Fishing Charters with over 40 years experience, plus specializing in “old style” fishing with modern conveniences including all equipment provided, and both trolling and bait fishing.

The 1000 Islands includes the eastern edge of Lake Ontario and is known for trophy-sized catches of salmon, trout, walleye and bass. And don’t forget about muskies! These monsters top out at more than 60 inches long and are to be pursued only by the most experienced of anglers or with a guide.



Fishing Facts and Tips

June through December is prime season for fishing in the 1000 Islands, however, anglers can take advantage of fishing all year round. Fishing in the 1000 Islands requires a license from the Province of Ontario. Although twice a year (February & July), Canadian residents can fish in Ontario without buying a fishing licence.

The following is a list of facts and tips when fishing in the 1000 Islands region:

Largemouth Bass

Open Season: 3rd Sat. in June to Dec. 15
Limits: S – 6 C – 2
Average sizes: 1.5 to 4 lbs (.68 to 1.8 kg)
Habitat and temperature: Inhabit shallow, warm waterbodies with aquatic vegetation, submerged wood, man-made cover, and rocks. They prefer 79 to 81°F (26 to 27°C) water.
Biology: Spawn in late May and June in fanned-out bottom depressions. Largemouth prefer vegetated, quiet bays.

Smallmouth Bass

Open Season: 3rd Sat. in June to Dec. 15
Limits: S – 6 C – 2
Average sizes: 1 to 3.5 lbs (.45 to 1.58 kg)
Habitat and temperature: Live in deeper water, often around rocks, sand, or gravel areas. They prefer water temperatures under 70°F (21°C).
Biology: Spawn in late May and June in fanned-out bottom depressions. They deposit their eggs in shallow, gravelly areas. Males guard eggs and fry.


Open Season: Jan. 1 to Mar. 1 & 2nd Sat. in May to Dec. 31
Limits: S – 4; Must be between 40-50 cm – (15.7– 19.7 in)
C – 2; Must be between 40-50 cm – (15.7– 19.7 in)
Average size: Between 1.5 and 3 lbs (.68 to 1.36 kg). It is, though, common to catch walleye topping 10 lbs (4.54 kg) in Ontario.
Temperature and habitat: Prefers stained waters in the 60 to 70°F (15.5 to 21°C) range, usually on hard, rocky bottoms, but also frequents weedbeds in shallow, fertile lakes.
Biology: Spawns after ice-out in rocky rivers and over wind-swept, rubble-strewn shoals and shorelines. Walleye are prolific and scatter eggs randomly.

Northern Pike

Open Season: Jan. 1 to Mar. 31 & 2nd Sat. in May to Dec. 31
Limits: S – 6 C – 2
Average size: Between 4 and 10 lbs (1.8 to 4.5 kg). Northern pike more than 20 lbs (9 kg) are considered trophies.
Temperature and habitat: Prefers water around 60°F (15.5°C) on rocky reefs and the edges of weedbeds.
Biology: Spawns in flooded areas and back bays in spring. Fertilized eggs are scattered randomly.


Open Season: 1st Sat. in June to Dec. 15
Limits: S – 1; must be greater than 91 cm (36 in.) C – 0
Average sizes: 10 to 20 lbs (4.5 to 9 kg).
Temperature and habitat: Often found in water up to 78°F (25.5°C), but big muskie, like big northern pike, prefer cooler water. Optimum spawning temperature is 55°F (12.8°C). Lives in a range of habitats, from small lakes to the Great Lakes, usually near cover or structure, but will suspend over deeper water.
Biology: Spawns in spring later than northern pike in many of the same vegetated flooded areas. Can hybridize with northern pike to produce sterile, fast-growing “tiger” muskie.

Yellow Perch

Open Season: Open all year
Limits: S – 50 C – 25
Average size: To .75 lb (.34 kg).
Temperature and habitat: Summer habitat ranges from weedy areas to rock/sand/rubble shoals to mossy mud flats, but perch occasionally suspend to follow forage. Preferred water temperature is 68°F (20°C).
Biology: Spawn in early spring, scattering eggs in shallow water around vegetation and submerged wood.


Open Season: Open all year
Limits: S – 30 C – 10


Open Season: Open all year
Limits: S – 300, only 30 may be greater than 18 cm (7.1 in.).
C – 15

Information courtesy of www.ontariotravel.net and Ministry of Natural Resources www.ontario.ca/travel-and-recreation/fishing.

Fishing Charters

The 1000 Islands region has a number of great options for guided fishing excursions and charters. Here is a list of local fishing charters and tours in the area.

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