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Ice Fishing, Lake Simcoe

Winter Cabin Rental: Cook’s Bay Lake Simcoe

December 27th 2013 | Posted by
Winter Cabin Rental: Cook’s Bay Lake Simcoe

Rent a cabin near Toronto in the winter and escape the city. Do ice fishing, ice kite boarding, or go cross-country skiing.

off track cross country skiing near Toronto

Ice Fishing

Lake Simcoe, and especially Cook’s Bay, is one of the best ice fishing spots in Ontario. We can see more and more ice fishing huts from the our rental cabin’s window. People are out there ice fishing.

If you are planning to come to Lake Simcoe for some ice fishing action, consider our inexpensive, warm, fully equipped cottage. Winter cabin rentals can be hit and miss both in terms of conditions, and price. If you rent from someone who also provides guidance and hut rentals, it is probably more convenient, but also more expensive. If you are independent, or if you don’t mind renting huts separately, Cook’s Bay Getaway is a great choice for you. You can go fishing right from your backyard.

For ice thickness and fishing reports, check this link

Off-the-road Cross-Country Skiing, Dog Sledding, Snowmobiling

York Regional Forest is only 5 minutes drive away from our cabin. There are excellent opportunities for off trail cross country skiing there among other winter activities.

Snowmobiling is permitted only on trails operated by the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC). The OFSC
has trails that run through the Pefferlaw Tract. Contact the local zone of OFSC, Huronia Snowmobile Southern Zone for
more information.

Dog Sledding
Some of the best dog sledders in Ontario train in our forest from September to April. Like all Regional Forest users, they
are respectful of others so don’t be alarmed if you see (or hear) them coming around that next bend!!

Whatever winter sports you enjoy, you will find your way to do them either on Lake Simcoe, or on the rich network of trails surrounding it, or within a short drive away.

And isn’t it nice to come back to a warm wood burn fireplace after an active day outdoors, and enjoy a beautiful sunset over Lake Simcoe right from your back window?

Fishing, Ice Fishing, Lake Simcoe

Lake Simcoe News

April 28th 2012 | Posted by
Lake Simcoe News

26-Dec-2013

We can see more and more ice fishing huts from the our rental cabin’s window. People are out there ice fishing.

As of December 23, 2013 ice thickness is reported as highly variable: from 3 to 12 inches. Be careful, and test the ice. It is a tough walk as the crust on top of the snow breaks almost every step.
It’s probably ATV-safe in some places, but not everywhere.

People report good ice perchin’ action:
Ice fishing perch video report

18-Apr-2012

Lake Simcoe news

Lake Simcoe news


New smoking ban is in effect in the town of Georgina ( for those who is not aware, this includes Keswick and Sutton):
no smoking is allowed anymore on the beaches, in parks and on the trails.

As Toronto Star writes, “The bylaw adds to an existing smoking ban enacted last year that forbids lighting up in playgrounds, on soccer pitches and sports fields, making it one of the most comprehensive outdoor smoking bans in the province.”

You can see the full article here: New bylaw enforces smoking ban in Georgina

18-Feb-2012

Perching for MS 2012 is one week away! On March 3rd teams will gather at the Sibbald Point Provincial Park to compete and raise money for a good cause. More information in detail can be found on this thread on the Lake Simcoe Message Board

18-Feb-2012

Useful article was posted on Fishing Simcoe – check out 2012 regulations for fishing on Lake Simcoe.

17-Feb-2012: 2012 Canadian Ice Fishing Championship on Lake Simcoe Is a Go!

Many were doubting whether it will be cancelled due to unusually warm weather conditions, and unsafe ice, but today we hear that the Canadian Ice Fishing Championship scheduled for Feb 25-26 is still a go.
There are changes though.
“Instead of entirely disappointing so many people who want to see this tournament happen, we have decided to forego the Big Fish Day this year and will have two days of perch fishing instead, held in shallower water closer to shore,” said Rosa Sharpe of Lures and Tours. “We also have to say, the support received from our sponsors and the anglers for this decision has been very encouraging. Safety First is everyone’s main concern.”

Weigh in and release are still held at the Sibbald Point Provincial Park.

11-Feb-2012: Reports from the ice of Lake Simcoe

Wow what a catch:Lake Simcoe Perch Feb 2012

10-Feb-2012: Free fishing clinic on Feb 15, 2012

The free Ice Fishing Clinic will run from 7 until 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 15 at the Bradford & District Memorial Community Centre located at 125 Simcoe Rd. The clinic will be presented by noted outdoor writer and award-winning angler, Wil Wegman, who explained that while fishing and the many tools of the trade will be a big part of the evening, so too will be keeping safe out on ice.
More info here: http://www.simcoe.com/news/article/1295076–fishing-clinic-offers-tackle-tips

04-Feb-2012: Lures: Lake Simcoe Bug

If ice fishing is your thing, you are always on a lookout for the best lures. Check out this discussion on Lake Simcoe Bug at the Lake Simcoe Message Board. You may get an idea or two.

26-Jan-2012: Great Safety Tips For Being on Ice on Lake Simcoe

Those who are used to enjoying winter Lake Simcoe every year may not give it another thought before they step on the ice at the end of January. ice must be think already, and the lake must be safe by now, just like it was the year ago. Not so, says Durham regional police. This year is unusually mild, and even Lake Scugog still has some areas covered by thin ice.

“The Durham Regional Police Service (DRPS) cannot stress enough the dangers of the thin ice and open water that is present on all bodies of water within Durham Region,” police say. “Although the DRPS recently released a statement in regards to the ice conditions, we are getting increasingly concerned that members of the public are not heeding this warning.”

The released great tips how to make an assessment whether the ice is safe for individuals, parties, and snowmobilers. They also emphasized What to do if you fell through the ice which is a recommended reading for anyone who want to go on rather unpredictable this year ice of Lake Simcoe.

Ice on Lake Simcoe Is Strong Enough For The Cars

Ice on Lake Simcoe Is Strong Enough For The Cars

21-Jan-2012: Cars on Ice on Lake Simcoe

Totay we crossed Lake Simcoe by foot into Innisfil. Lots of people are ice fishing there. And close to Cook’s Bay Getaway, the cars are parked on the ice. The ice is strong, but apparently at the Cook’s Bay only!

17-Jan-2012: Walking on Ice on Lake Simcoe

We went for a walk and chatted with ice fishermen. Most of them were after perch. Sun was beaming, and, although it was minus 13, we did not feel cold. More and more ice fishing huts are there on Lake Simcoe

07-Jan-2012: Ice on Lake Simcoe is getting stronger

Today we saw the first snowmobilers testing ice… The ice is getting stronger and stronger! Someone even ventured out on the lake with his ice fishing hut in a tow.
We saw the first ice surfer too! Driven by the colourful kite, he was going back and forth on the ice.
Winter is finally coming to Lake Simcoe!

05-Jan-2012: Unusual Year For Ice Fishing

Simcoe.com interviewed an ice fishing hut operator, Chad Piedro of Lefroy, who called 2012 “an unusual year” for ice fishing. While it’s usually safe to ice fish at this time of the year, it will be at least two weeks before the ice hard enough even to risk walking on. Even if ice looks safe and others are taking a chance, checking with a local fish hut operator could save a life.

21-Dec-2011: Lake Simcoe Bait Lockdown

Not a good news… As per Cook’s Bay Fishing Board, “VHS (viral hemorrhagic septicemia) has been confirmed in gobies, perch, and bullheads in Lake Simcoe.”
VHS is a virus that is deadly for the fish. Before the Type IVb (Canadian variation) VHS die-offs in the Great Lakes, regulation of the transfer of the live species was practically non-existent. Since 2005, new policies have been adopted in order to stop the spread of the virus to the new lakes and rivers. Fish and egg transfer, use of live bait, and water transfer are now regulated.

Lake Simcoe Emerald shiner a popular bait, is among the affected species. Baitfish movements from the Lake Simcoe zone will not be allowed in or out as of January 1, 2012, which will be detrimental to the commercial operators.

According to the Ministry of Natural Resources, the virus does not affect humans.
Fish carrying the VHS virus are safe for people to eat and handle.

 

17-Dec-2011: Ice Fishing On Lake Simcoe Is One of Canada’s Best Travel Experiences

Ottawa Citizen, in its review of the top ten books for travelers in Canada proclaims ice fishing trip to Lake Simcoe one of the top ten desirable destinations for the month of February. This is according to Frommer’s Far & Wide: a Weekly Guide to Canada’s Best Travel Experiences, the 328 page guide for travel in Canada.

15-Dec-2011: Ice Fishing Huts Rental Deal!

Lake Simcoe Outfitters is running a great promo for Winter 2012: $20 for a Full Day of Ice Fishing for One Including All Equipment and Unlimited Bait at Lake Simcoe Outfitters Ltd. ($55 Value)
According to the, the promo runs till Dec 16, 2011, and vouchers are valid till March 15, 2012. In any case, this company, located in Innisfil, is a great ice fishing hut rental place:

    • Open 7 days a week
    • Day and night fishing
    • Large cozy heated huts (propane or wood heat)
    • Catch trout, whitefish, perch and pike
      Deep and shallow water fishing

Ice Fishing

Ice Fishing On Lake Simcoe

January 7th 2012 | Posted by
Ice Fishing On Lake Simcoe

If you live in Ontario and you’ve ever considered ice fishing , a winter road trip to Cook’s Bay and Lake Simcoe in the Georgina area is well worth it for you. No matter the season, Lake Simcoe is known for world-class fishing. Winter in particular is the prime time for whitefish, perch, bass and winter trout. The overall shape of the lake complete with shoals and shallow areas ideal for weed growth makes it perfect for giving the fish safe places to survive the winter chill.

Ice Fishing Lake Simcoe Drilling Holes

Ice Fishing Lake Simcoe

Ice Fishing Season

The main ice fishing season runs from the middle of January until the middle of March. During this time you’ll be hard pressed to get lodging in Keswick, Gifford, and many of the cottages around lake Simcoe due to not only regular fishing visitors but also ice fishing competitions. Plan your travel well ahead of time then start your research in how to best catch your harvest. Please consider renting our Lake Simcoe cottage, Cook’s Bay Getaway, for your ice fishing trip.

Trying ice - first ice hut on Lake Simcoe Jan 2012

Trying ice - first ice hut on Lake Simcoe

Novice Ice Fishing Tips

If you’re just starting ice fishing, take your time to learn good safety protocol, including wearing proper clothing. Layered clothing that’s water proof and wind proof keeps you warm for longer. It takes time to catch fish, so without well-planned cold weather gear you could easily end up with wind burn, frostbite or hypothermia just to name a few.

As you gather suitable body protection, use the opportunity to talk to local people. The folks up in the Georgina region are used to visitors and will be happy to offer some advice on locations, lures, and baits that generally prove successful. Check out our most up-to-date list ofand give them a call beforehand.

Note that it’s generally unadvisable to go ice fishing alone until you have more experience – seeing what tools you need, how to avoid thin ice, how to keep yourself warm using shelters, etc. If you must go alone make sure you are within sight of other anglers, carry a whistle, and wear a life jacket.

Stay away from ice that’s less than 3” thick. You can walk on ice 4” thick, use a snow mobile on 5” thick ice and drive a small car on 12” thick ice. Note, however, that ice thickness is not a precise science. If you can’t be sure err on the side of caution and test the ice again.

Locals will tell you that the wax worms and minnows gathered from the bottom of the shores tempt perch in particular. If you don’t want to gather them yourself you’ll find dozens of handy huts well-stocked with everything you need for your adventure including some of the favorite lures like tear drop ice jigs and a “bug” named after the lake – the Lake Simcoe Bug lure.

Types of Fish & Where to Find them

If perch is your fish of choice, remember that these fish move together in lakes like Simcoe. If you’ve tried your line for 20 minutes in water between 10-35 feet deep and gotten no bites, it’s time to move on. Watch for any area with green weeds – the fish like to hide there, enjoying small shrimp. Note that you can catch the largest fish at the outset of ice fishing season in Georgina before their picked over by the hundreds of anglers, some of whom fish the entire two months. You may also have great success just before the spring thaw when the fish go into the shallower waters regularly (around 10 feet). For “hot spots” try Keswick and Gilford.

There are certainly other fish that you may catch during your endeavors. Northern Pike is one example as are coveted whitefish. These fish grow larger than some other lake regions, sometimes reaching over 7 pounds. If you’re looking for these treasures you’ll need to go to where water is over 60 feet. Locals claim that pike like minnows, but even with that bait this fish is elusive. Try Willow Beach and Shanty Bay.

Fishermen looking for Lake Trout would do well to go to Lake Simcoe at dawn and stay until lunch time. Live minnows work well as bait for these fish, particularly in the region of Fox Point, Jackson Point or Big Bay because they prefer deeper waters in the range of 90 feet.

Last but not least are Walleye. Look for them just outside of vegetated areas, particularly at dawn and dusk. You can use synthetic worms as bait, or more minnows.

Regulations

The Lake Simcoe Basin is located in Zone 16 of the Ontario Fishing Regulations. These regulations stipulate the open season by fish species and the catch limits. The regulations sometimes change depending on fish population, so please check with the Fish and Wildlife Service before you go.

Ice Fishing, Lake Simcoe

Ice Fishing Huts: Lake Simcoe Operators

December 6th 2011 | Posted by
Ice Fishing Huts: Lake Simcoe Operators

If you are planning to do some serious ice fishing on Lake Simcoe, you will need an ice fishing hut to cover yourself from wind an cold. You have three choices: build it, buy it, or rent it.

Local Canadian Tire in Keswick may have an ice shelter (Hi-Tech Fishing 4-Man InstaShak Ice Shelter) for $299.99. It is easy to install and it heats up with a one burner Coleman, so it is reasonably easy to transport and use.

Resources on how to build an ice fishing hut are readily available – there are plenty websites that show this process in detail.

Ready made lake Simcoe ice huts are provided by several operators in Keswick area and around.
Here is the most up-to-date list of ice fishing hut operators ( please call to confirm ice huts availability):

1. Davey Point Bait & Tackle (former Keffer’s Marine) – 50 Lake Drive north, Keswick, Ont. L4P 1A4
905-476-4161
2. Dave’s Fish Huts-7792 Black River Road
Georgina, Ontario L0E, Canada
Phone: (905) 722-3372
Email: info@davesfishhuts.com

3. Hank Heyink Fish Huts – Jackson’s Point 905-722-3718

4. Kingfisher Ice Fishing-  Dennis Mahoney Willow Beach, Ont. LOE 1S0 705-437-2943

5. T&T Ice Fishing Hut Rentals – Black River Road, Sutton West, Ontario, L0E 1R0 905-455-1952

6. Bill Linders Pro Guide Fish Hut Rentals Sutton, Ontario Phone: (705) 437-4162

7. Lake Simcoe Outfitters LTD: Please call: 1.705.456.9039 or email luckyssons@gmail.com.
“Lucky’s Sons ice fishing huts are located about a kilometer out on Lake Simcoe at the mouth of Cooks Bay.
This location gives us great fishing throughout the season so you get your best chance to catch some great jumbo perch, lake trout, pike and whitefish,” states their website.

Please note that Simcoe Fishing Adventures that has provided excellend ice fishing accommodations and services, has recently moved away from Keswick. Many websites still have it in their listings.

Ice fishing huts on lake Simcoe are better to be booked in advance, especially in the bust season of championships.