- Clear blue ice is the strongest. White opaque or snow ice is half as strong as blue ice. Grey ice is unsafe. If ice has a “honeycomb” look, avoid going on it.
- Ice must be 20cm thick for a group to walk on.
- Check the conditions with the locals at bait shops. They know the lakes as well as the area and offer equipment and hut rentals.
- Never go on the ice alone. Always ice-fish with at least one other person.
It’s quickly becoming ice-fishing season in Ontario — and while you may have thought all there is to catch is a cold, we’re here to change your mind! Ice fishing is truly one of Canada’s great winter traditions. The varieties of local fish you can catch while ice fishing include walleye, perch, northern pike, muskie, sturgeon, whitefish and lake trout. Does it sound intimidating? Scooting out onto a frozen lake in the dead of winter, drilling holes in the ice and sitting in a cabin for hours? It shouldn’t be! This time honoured Ontario tradition is best enjoyed with a thermos of hot tea (or “cold tea” if that’s more your style!) and some good friends. You don’t need to be an expert to ice fish! Follow these safety tips –