Fishing Near Toronto For Many Species
There is good fishing near Toronto for travelers and residents to enjoy, and some of this good fishing is a short cab ride away. As the top fishing guide near Toronto, I will give you my tips for both lake and river fishing near Toronto.
Anglers interested in fishing near Toronto have the option of lake fishing, pond fishing, or river fishing and all within a 30-minute drive. Anglers fishing near Toronto could catch large salmon up to 40 pounds, steelhead up to 20 pounds, trout over 10 pounds, and even bass, pike, carp, and panfish.
There are also other places that are 45 minutes to 60 minutes drive from downtown Toronto that can offer world-class fishing.
There are good options for river fishing for salmon, steelhead, Brook Trout, Brown Trout, and Rainbow trout in the rivers to the east and west of Toronto.
Rivers like the Nottawasaga, Wilmot Creek, Bowmanville Creek, Bronte Creek, and the Ganaraska are all within a 60-minute drive. These rivers are great for anglers that want to try spin fishing, fly fishing, and Centerpin fishing.
The Toronto harbor, the Toronto Islands, and the Lake Ontario shoreline offer opportunities to catch big bass, pike over 20 pounds, carp over 20 pounds, musky, steelhead, brown trout, Chinook salmon, Coho salmon, and Atlantic salmon. All these within 10 minutes of downtown Toronto
You could even do ice fishing near Toronto in some of the bays on this list. A 30-minute to 1-hour drive west and north can put you on some great ice fishing lakes like Island Lake or Lake Scugog. In fact, Lake Simcoe is about 60 minutes away and is known as the ice fishing capital of the world.
But let’s focus on the river and lake fishing near Toronto that are all within that 30 minutes drive.
If you are new to fishing near Toronto, A Perfect Drift Guide Company is the best local river guide service that offers lessons and guided trips to some of these great rivers.
River Fishing Near Toronto
I’ll start with river fishing near Toronto because anglers have a dozen options that are close by. Some of them will be covered below in more detail.
For river fishing near Toronto you have these options, Humber River, East Humber River, West Humber River, Cold Creek, Silver Creek, Black Creek, Don River, Rouge River, Duffins Creek, Soper Creek, Credit River, East Credit River, West Credit River, Bronte Creek, 16 Mile Creek, Oakville Creek.
These are some of the best rivers for river fishing near Toronto and they offer anglers opportunities to fish for salmon, steelhead, trout, bass, and more.
For more detailed information on river fishing near Toronto and in Ontario visit these pages:
- Trout Fishing Near Toronto: Tips From A Top River Guide
- The Best Rivers In Ontario For Trout And Steelhead
- Ontario Fly Fishing: 15 Best Places And Methods To Try
- Where Can I Fish On The Credit River? 18 Best Access Spots
Fishing The Humber River
The Humber River enters Lake Ontario and is only about 5 kilometers from downtown Toronto. This is a great destination for anglers that want to try fishing near Toronto and want to stay within the city limits.
At the mouth of the Humber River, anglers can fish for bass, pike carp, and panfish and they can do this from shore during the summer months.
Casting lures or drifting a bait under a float is a good option in the deeper slower water.
Big carp will move into the lower river in late May and June and can be caught using heavier rods and baits. Some big pike can also be found in the slower water of the lower river and along the Lake Ontario Shoreline. Bass can also be found in this area.
Anglers can also target multiple fish species along the shoreline of Lake Ontario where the Humber enters into the lake.
Anglers fishing the Humber River can fish for the spring and fall-run steelhead which can grow to over 15 pounds and can enter the Humber River by the thousands. The lower Humber river is open to angling for trout and steelhead all year long.
Most anglers that fish for steelhead catch very few simply because they just do not fish very well. Steelhead is my specialty and I have taught thousands of anglers how to catch them.
I share my tips and tricks for fishing Ontario steelhead on this website. I even discuss how to know when the steelhead will run in Toronto.
At this time anglers can fish from Eglinton Avenue to Lake Ontario 12 months of the year. This is a huge section of the river that allows anglers to spread out and fish for trout, salmon, bass, carp, and maybe pike.
Fishing for steelhead can be done with fly rods, spinning rods, and Centerpin rods.
For the best methods, best times to fish for steelhead, and places to fish for steelhead check out our steelhead page.
Anglers fishing near Toronto can also catch giant salmon up to 40 pounds off the banks near river mouths and up in rivers like the Humber River and the Don River.
The big Ontario salmon can run up the Toronto rivers by the thousands and they can be caught easily using the methods that I use when I guide for them. You can see my advice on my Salmon Fishing page.
There are Chinook, Coho, and Atlantic salmon that will run up these rivers to spawn. The most common salmon which can enter the rivers by the thousands is the Chinook salmon.
The salmon usually start running up the rivers after the first big rain in September and will continue after each rain until November.
Many people like to watch the salmon jumping at the small damn at the Old Mill Park. This is also a popular spot for anglers but it can get very busy there when the salmon are in thick which is why I recommend fishing further up the river for fewer anglers.
The main branch of the Humber River has good populations of brown trout and brook trout. The best fishing occurs upriver of the town of Bolton. Be careful of the many sinkholes in this river and watch out for poison ivy.
There are many trails along the river that anglers can use to access the river. A Perfect Drift Guide Company does guide trips for trout on the Upper Humber River.
West Humber River
The West Humber River is a warm water river with mostly bass, suckers, and carp. Anglers fishing this branch often focus their efforts around the Claireville Reservoir which can be good fishing for largemouth bass, carp, and catfish as well as panfish like pumpkinseed, and perch.
Fishing The East Humber River
Fly fishing Toronto area can be done on a great section of the Humber River.
The East Humber River is a tributary to the Humber River and can be a great place for anglers to try for steelhead and trout.
It’s about 45km from downtown Toronto and is a nice little trout and steelhead creek that offers fishing near Toronto.
It’s a smaller river that has been getting stocked with steelhead for many years and it can be very good for trout and steelhead fishing.
The east Humber River is lesser known than other nearby rivers so it does not get as much fishing pressure. Anglers can access the river through Boyd Conservation Area.
Fishing The Don River
Fly Fishing Toronto can be done within the city limits on the Don River which flows along the eastern edge of Toronto. Here you can catch steelhead, salmon, bass, pike, and carp.
The Don River is a little-known fishing spot because it has been considered by many people to be a dirty polluted river. This river has been cleaned up over decades and considering its close proximity to millions of people it’s actually a nice little river set in the Don Valley.
Because of this, not many anglers will fish it but the Don River has some salmon and steelhead that will run up this river to spawn which can provide anglers with opportunities to catch these fish with no other anglers around.
You may also find bass and carp in the lower sections of the river.
Don Valley Park is a good spot to access the river if you want to try and fish the Don River. There are a lot of nice trails and many parks along the river for anglers to access.
Check out this YouTube video to see the Don River and some salmon spawning there.
Fishing The Credit River
For many hard-core fly angles, fly fishing in Toronto means fishing on the nearby Credit River for many species of fish. The Credit River is a good option for the angler that wants good trout, steelhead, and salmon fishing near Toronto.
Located about 25 kilometers southwest of Toronto is one of the best salmon rivers in Ontario. The Credit River is also well known for its spring and fall steelhead fishing and its good trout fishing in the upper sections of the river.
The steelhead and salmon do not make it past the town of Norval due to 2 dams. Most salmon and steelhead fishing is done downriver of Streetsville.
Anglers that want to fish salmon in the fall should try a day or two after decent-sized rains in September and October.
A great place for both salmon and steelhead is Erindale Park in Mississauga.
Anglers can find good fishing for trout in the upper sections above Inglewood.
This upper section of the Credit River has special regulations at the time of print. Zero trout may be kept, no organic bait permitted and only 1 single point hook allowed. This makes this section a popular destination for fly anglers.
Along the upper Credit is the Ken Whillans Resource Management Area which has stocked rainbow trout, bass, pike, and panfish. This is a paid access area and a good place for a relaxing day of fishing.
At the headwaters of the Credit River in the Town of Orangeville is Island Lake which is a good destination for Ice fishing in the winter and lake fishing in the spring and summer. There are big largemouth bass, pike, crappie, and perch in this lake. you can fish at the Island Lake Conservation Area
Fishing The Toronto Islands
Let’s not forget about the warm water species when fly fishing Toronto. Fishing near Toronto is as easy as fishing the west shore of the Toronto Islands which are based at the foot of downtown Toronto.
The weedy bays and shorelines offer anglers great fishing for big bass, pike, carp, panfish, and maybe even a musky or a walleye. There is also a chance for roaming migratory brown trout in the spring and fall or salmon and steelhead.
The channels and inlets can be fished from shore or boat and they have a good population of huge carp. Pike over 20 pounds are caught in this area every year and there is a good population of big largemouth bass.
Anglers that want to fish on the Toronto Island usually access it by the Island Ferries. you can get information on fares and schedules at www.torontoharbour.com/toronto-island-ferry
Fishing Ashbridges Bay
Ashbridges Bay is a small bay just east of the Toronto Islands and can be a good option when fly fishing Toronto area. The shoreline can be walked on foot and provides anglers fishing for smallmouth and largemouth bass, pike, panfish, and carp.
The outer shoreline along lake Ontario gives anglers an opportunity to cast for carp, salmon, steelhead, and big migratory brown trout in the fall.
Anglers can access the bay at Ashbridges Bay Park through the trails and paths that run along the shoreline.
Fishing The Rouge River
The lower rouge river has pike, bass, and carp fishing available most of the year.
Big pike up to 20 pounds can be caught in the lower river in the spring when the river is still cold.
Smaller pike can be caught all summer.
Steelhead run up the Rouge River in the spring around March and April and then again in the fall. You can catch rainbow trout up the river in the summer months. The Rouge River also gets a small run of migratory brown trout.
Salmon will start to run the river after the first big rains in September and throughout October.
Fishing Frenchman’s Bay
Frenchman’s Bay offers fishing near Toronto for warm water species with good numbers of bass, pike, and carp. There are also walleye and lots of panfish.
There is good access along the shoreline for anglers to explore. This enclosed bay is suitable for canoe and small boat anglers.
Fishing Duffins Creek
Duffins Creek is located about 45km on the east side of Toronto. It is one of the best steelhead and salmon creeks in the area and it’s a popular destination for anglers that want to fly fish near Toronto.
Duffins Creek splits into two forks which are both good for fishing. Up the west fork above the dam in Whitevale is good fishing for brook trout.
There are some brown trout in the river and there are some reports of Lake trout catches in the lower river.
There is good access along both forks of the river. On the west for there are parks and access points to the Seaton trail which runs along much of the river.
On the east Duffins Creek, you can access the river from the TransCanada Trail system and from the Greenwood Conservation Area or at Devonside Park.
On east Duffins Creek, there is a long section of the Trans-Canada Trail in the lower section that will give you access or you can try at Devonside Park or from Greenwood Conservation Area.
Milne Dam Conservation Park
Milne Dam pond is a pond within the Rouge River system. The pond and the river have carp, bass, pike, and panfish. There is easy access around the pond and this is a good fly fishing area for anglers that live near this area.
It is not an area I would make a lot of effort to get to since there are better options for fly fishing Toronto area.
Other Spots To Try Fishing Near Toronto
Lakefront Promenade Park
Lakefront Promenade Park can be good for bass, pike, carp, and panfish. You can fly fish the shoreline here and possibly catch some huge fish. You can more information and access it here.
Fishing Professors Lake
Professors lake in Brampton has some good bass and panfish in this lake. There is also carp and Catfish. I used to live near here and I fished Professors lake as a kid.
it is surrounded by a walking path which is surrounded by houses so don’t expect a scenic type of lake. This is a good location if you live close by but if you want a more scenic destination in the area try Heart Lake or travel the 30 minutes north to Island Lake in Orangeville.
You can access Professors lake by the trail that circles the lake and you can park at the Recreation Center.
Heart Lake Conservation
Heart lake is a good choice for bass, rainbow trout, and panfish. You can access it at the park entrance.
I fished this many times as a kid and the fishing here can be very good. This lake is also surrounded by forests and hills making it one of the more scenic fishing destinations near Toronto.
There are many rivers and creeks that are 30 to 45 minutes further from Toronto. Check out our page The Best Rivers In Ontario For Trout And Steelhead for some great areas to try.