Best Shore Fishing Spots In Southern Ontario

Published on October 28, 2020

Fishing has always been one of the most popular hobbies among the outdoorsmen. Historically, we can trace roots back from the hunter-gatherer days when our ancestors colonized the banks of now-famous rivers. Hunger made them fishermen and they were not just good – they were great. With the passage of time, societies were established with the division of labor. But fishing is still one of the favorite water sports.

If you live in Southern Ontario or frequent the area often, we have listed some of the best points for shore fishing. These spots are not for the faint of the heart. So, you should abandon bass boats with over 200 units of horsepower in your garages. The best you can do is to drive in your car, a motorbike will also do, or grab a pair of hiking shoes if you are around and visit the places with full gear!

Keep in mind that these are some of the many great points to have some time playing with nature and catching large and beautiful fishes. In the future, we will try to share some other great spots for shore fishing in Southern Ontario.

Ganaraska River, Port Hope

This is a wildly popular spot for fishing aficionados. According to some, this river is considered to be the number one Steelhead and Salmon river in the whole length and breadth of Ontario. If you do not reside in the Southern region of Ontario, it could be a hard choice for you. It is because there are a number of spots Saugeen, Beaver, Bighead, Credit and the Nottawasaga, and many more that can provide a solid point for shore fishing. But for some, it is still the best point for shore-bound anglers.

Because of the abundance of fishes and ideal terrain for setting contraption, the locals name it the best place to catch Steelhead and Salmon.

Related: Best Gift Ideas For People Who Loves Fishing in Southern Ontario

The story does not end here. There are also a lot of species that are both exotic to catch and delicious to grill. Some of the champs in this category are Brown Trout, Smallmouth, Largemouth Bass, Pike, Carp, Catfish, and many more reside in the crystal waters of “Ganny”. Surely now you would agree that the presence of these fishes would make it a dream destination for shore fishing.

Ganaraska River runs directly through downtown Port Hope. There are other advantages to that locality, other than being close to getting there. Before commencing your fishing expedition in the afternoon or in the evening, you can pull up in the town and grab a grand lunch in a local restaurant. This will definitely put you in the right mood and energies before a hectic but fun-filled part of the day.

The Dream Hotspot For Shore Fishing In Ganaraska River

For the sportsmen, there are both private and public spots in the northern part of the Ganaraska River. If you want to fish in the private areas, you need to obtain permission from landowners before setting angles in the spots to avoid prosecution.

Whenever you come to “Ganny” for Salmon and Trout, never forget to bring:

• Roe (Spawn) Bags

• Garden Worms

• Small Pink Plastic Worms

• An Assortment Of Flies

There are some who fish the southernmost part of the river during the peak months of winter. If you are trying to guess what they do and how they do it, it is called ice fishing. They catch Steelheads. Awesome!

Niagara Whirlpool, Niagara River

If you want to see a lot of heads turning in the room, only mention the word “Niagara”. That shows how much fancy this word and associated places holds in the minds of people. Also, this is our next shore fishing spot in southern Ontario. By far, the most scenic and most frequented by tourists for years.

Everyone is fascinated by the mentioning of Niagara Falls, and this is not a secret. But there is something that many people don’t know is a perfect fishing phenomenon just downriver of these divine falls, called Whirlpool.

It seems that the place is built to steal your breath with swirling current, clean water, and bruiser fish. Even if you are not a fishing freak, the place should be on your bucket list for sightseeing and stealing a day in the company of nature.

Just like the abundant beauty this place is blessed with, you will find a number of species at Whirlpool including Northern Pike, Muskie, Carp, Lake Trout, Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout. If you visit there on your lucky day, you can even find exotic fishes like Buffalo and Long Nose Gar.

Pro Tip: With the breathtaking scenery and clean currents, you can only reach this great fishing spot through a long set of stairs. There is almost no problem at all going down on the stairs. The tricky part is coming up. So, come while you are in good shape.

For those who want to go Carp fishing at Whirlpool, it is always the best course to bring as little gear as possible. Avoid bulky setup and rigs unless they are absolutely crucial for your project. In case you drop anything while climbing up or down the stairs, you can prevent serious injury or harm to anyone, including yourself.

There are many videos on YouTube that you can check before visiting the place. You can also find guides that can help you in navigating the place and finding the best spot for shore fishing at Whirlpool.

Rice Lake

It is situated in the south-central region of Ontario, and almost notorious for the abundance of catchable fishes in the lake. Some of the most popular fish that you can catch are as follows:

• Walleye

• Muskie

• Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass

• Crappie

• Sunfish

• Rock Bass

If you are keeping tabs on the numbers for Carp fishing, you will never find a place better than Rice Lake. You can catch a good number of Carps both from the shore and from the boat.

The closest town in the region is Bewdley where you will find numerous excellent spots to set rigs and angles. The best part, you will be fishing with a small distance from shops and stores.

You will also find many towns along Rice Lake. Some of them are as follows:

Gores Landing

It is a nice little town to set up a day for fishing. You will find many sportsmen and amateurs there. As mentioned earlier, there are countless spots for shore fishing along the length of Rice Lake.


This town is limited in access, but if you are bent to find the best locality for shore fishing, there are more than a few spots that will act as the shore fishing point.

No matter a motor engine boat gives you the sting, or you are a shore fisherman, you will find a lot of places along Rice Lake for shore fishing. It is truly a divine place for fishing multiple species.

For those who do not like crowds but want to fish from the shore, there are resorts along Rice Lake that will give you much-needed privacy. It includes Elmhurst Resort with its superior shoreline access, excellent accommodations, and phenomenal fishing.

Pro Tip: The gear you were advised to leave behind, you can bring it all here. Since you can drive your vehicle right at the point of fishing. So, get the big rod pod set up while you are at it. You are going to love it!

Thames River, London

The river Thames is one of the longest rivers in the region, with a flow of 273 kilometers (170 miles) long. It runs westward through southwestern Ontario.

The flow line of this river starts from the town of Tavistock and runs through the cities of Woodstock, London, and Chatham. This makes it one of the most popular and sought-after spots for shore fishing in the region. Also, because of the longevity of the river, there are plenty of points that are not easily accessed, but they make it up with the scenic views and swirling crystal water.

This has become one of the busiest spots in terms of tourist influx and the number of available amenities.

For the true aficionados, the river is teeming with a number of species. Some of them are:

• Smallmouth Bass & Largemouth Bass

• Rock Bass

• Catfish

• Yellow Perch

• Pumpkinseed

• White Sucker

• Carp

• Walleye

• Northern Pike

If you live in the area or on the outskirts of that area, it is convenient for you to set out on foot with a packed lunch and light gear for great fishing. For true lovers of shore fishing, this could not get any better.

For those who come from the cities, Greenway and Harris Parks in London are some of the city-access areas. There are Westminster Ponds that have a beautiful fishing platform to help you in catching the best fish of your life.

Pro Tip: Live bait is the best bait of choice in the area. If you are not aware of the fishing regulations of Ontario, make an acquaintance with them to avoid any brush with the law.


Yes, you hear it right. One of the most beloved locations for shore fishing in all of Ontario can be found in the area of Toronto. If you have a love for a specific species, name it. There are healthy odds that you will find it here. Just like River Thames, there are areas that have tricky terrain and hard access points. So, you need to investigate well before packing your gear. In the end, it is all worth it.

One of the best species of fishes in the Lake Ontario region is the Northern Pike. There are a majority of harbors that have them. If you are allowed to access them on foot, these Pike are very convenient to catch and hold.

There are many videos online where you can see that many people have caught Pike, both on the boat and onshore. This will tell you just how many Pike you will find in the seemingly unlikeliest places.

To get started as soon as possible, The Toronto Islands are a start. With a quick walkabout and a boat or ferry ride to Center Island, you will start fishing before you know it. To enjoy a nice and bellyful lunch while fishing in one of the most attractive spots, there are cafes and joints with picnic tables. There are receptacles for trash and junk to help keep the environment clean and friendly.

One of the great shore points for fishing and hanging out is Tommy Thompson Park, with one of the largest areas for biodiversity along the waterfront. This verifies the claim of being the best place for fun, family, and friends.

If you are more into the isolated areas and such, there is a spot called Grenadier Pond in the High park region of Toronto. It has designated spots for shore fishing so you can have a try on it without any interruption from anyone.

For the lovers of Carp, you will find many videos online that will give you an idea about the size and availability of the fish.

Port Credit

In Mississauga, Port Credit is a beautiful waterfront neighborhood, with the “Village by the lake” is the most popular point in southern Ontario for evening walks, boat rides, as well as a chain for first-class restaurants to dine in amongst the nature with class.

There are a number of cafés and bars that serve many signature beverages including beers and coffee to relax after a day of fishing. You can get a hefty lunch of seafood and a number of salads to make your day.

This place is also the home of a charter fleet, where you can speed offshore to find Chinook, Coho Salmon, Brown & Rainbow Trout, Largemouth & Smallmouth Bass, and many more.

Pro Tip: The most exciting thing about these trips is that you do not have to worry about bringing heavy equipment. Only a cooler to put your fish in.

You can also cast your hook from shore and boat because Port Credit is a productive place for Bass and Trout, from frost to taw. It becomes the hottest spot for fishing in the month of September when huge Salmon and Trout snake their ways upstream to spawn.


It is safe to say that there are many more places that can serve as a hotspot for shore fishing in the southern area of Ontario. There, you can expect abundant fish, scenic landscapes, swirling, crystal clear water, and much more. They are both for amateurs and serious fishermen, especially for those who want to improve their game. Some of the points are harder to reach, so you should go light on the gear while visiting those places. Overall, you are guaranteed a day of fun and adventure if you have set your heart on getting to those places.

Fishing is a sport about moving from one place to another and improving your game while spending quality time in the company of nature. If you are planning on going to one of the places, be sure to study the area and plan ahead to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

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