Fishing in Toronto
Fishing in Toronto might seem counterintuitive, but while Toronto may not be the dream fishing destination, our public waterways offer plenty of spots to cast a few lines. Whether you're looking to hook cold water fish--such as salmon or trout--or warm water fish like carp and bass, there's a fishing hole on public lands to meet your needs.
Rouge River Marsh
The Rouge River Marsh may get a little crowded, and between development in the surrounding area and the marsh rehabilitation project, the fishing isn't what it used to be, but it's still one of the city's best spots. Rouge River marshes represent 55% of the total remaining wetlands in the GTA, which means the river mouth and marsh at the end of Lawrence, on the Pickering Border, are great places to catch carp. The marsh is also home to yellow perch, steelhead, bass, pike and sunfish among others.
A quick ferry ride to the Toronto Islands is well worth it if you're looking for large carp, pike, and bass. The canals on Hanlan's Point are known to have pike cruising around, as do the lagoons on Ward's Island. There are ten species of fish commonly caught around the Toronto Islands, guaranteeing that there is something to fish almost year-round.
Bluffers Park provides options for pike fishing in the spring, and trout and salmon fishing in the fall, in particular brown trout. Take your boat further away from the shore, and the water might yield some steelhead, coho, and chinook salmon.
Tommy Thompson Park
Here's another spot that seems out-of-place in a metropolis like Toronto. Tommy Thompson Park is a large conservation area on Lake Ontario, where anglers can catch lake trout, largemouth bass, yellow perch, black crappies, and northern pike among other fish species. It's important to note that the Toronto Region Conservation Authority has banned the use of live bait here and on the rest of their lands.
Lower Humber River
There's plenty of fishing spots in the city's west end, although places like Grenadier Pond have been over-fished and yield less. The Lower Humber River is still a great place for multiple species of salmon, as well as panfish, carp, smallmouth bass, and brown and rainbow trout.
G. Ross Lord Reservoir
Even if you head north, away from the lake, there's still fishing to be found. The G. Ross Lord Reservoir may not look like the most idyllic place to cast your line, but there are several species of fish--such as carp, bullhead, rock bass, and pumpkinseed sunfish--lurking under the water. It may also be slightly less congested than at other locations, especially those near the lake.
Upper Main Rouge River
On the west branch of the Rouge, near Highway 2, is another great fishing spot that is home to an impressive number of species, and situated in one of the more beautiful regions in the east end. From black crappies to white suckers, the Rouge River has them all and is another spot that does not tend to get as crowded with fishermen as the lake-front locations.
Ashbridge's Bay Park
Ashbridge's Bay Park is a popular location and attracts its share of enthusiastic anglers. Unlike certain spots around the city, the crowds have not resulted in a depletion of fish stocks and the piscatorial variety is worth checking out. There is also plenty to see and do in that neck of the woods if there are too many rival lines in the water.
Writing by Jeff Dupuis. Lead photo by BruceK in the blogTO Flickr pool