Last glow of sunset while someone is fishing

Let's GO Fish

Published: Jun 18, 2024

Catch the excitement and get ready for a reel great day! The Ontario fishing season is here so grab your tackle box and try your luck at the lake, pond, or river. Fishing is fun for both beginners and experienced anglers alike, and you’re not limited to just your nearest local fishing hole. With convenient GO travel, you can cast your line a little farther and take advantage of easy access to some of the best fishing spots in Southern Ontario.

Plan your fishing day trip!

Don’t Forget Your Ontario Fishing Licence

The first step to planning your fishing trip in Ontario is making sure that you have a valid Outdoors Card and a valid Ontario Fishing Licence. You must carry your Outdoors Card or licence summary with you at all times while fishing in Ontario. You can decide to purchase a 1-day, 1-year, or 3-year fishing licence, and choose a sport fishing or conservation fishing licence. If you are under 18 or 65 years old or older, you don’t require a licence to fish in Ontario.

Buy your Ontario fishing licence online!
Take GO to Fish - photos of people fishing

Free Family Fishing in Ontario

If you’re completely new to fishing and just want to try it out, take advantage of one of the upcoming free fishing in Ontario events. Four times a year, Canadian residents can fish without purchasing a fishing licence. Two of these Free Family Fishing Events are happening soon:

  • Family Fishing Weekend (February 17 - 19, 2024)
  • Mother’s Day Weekend (May 11 & 12, 2024)
  • Father’s Day Weekend (June 15 & 16, 2024)
  • Family Fishing Week (June 29 - July 7, 2024)

But remember, if you get hooked on fishing, be sure to buy your fishing licence so you can keep reeling in the fun all season long!

Where Can You GO Fishing?

Fishing is a great way to take a break from your busy life and spend a peaceful and relaxing day by the water. With GO Transit, your relaxation begins as soon as you step on board. You can skip the stress of driving and spend your travel time planning which lure to use first or enjoying free videos, eBooks & more on the GO Wi-Fi Plus entertainment portal. 

There are some fantastic Ontario fishing spots within a 20-minute walk of GO Transit stops, and your travel is easy and affordable with a $10 One-Day Weekend Pass or a Weekday Group Pass, starting at just $30. If you’re bringing the little ones for a family fishing day, remember that kids 12 and under always ride free on GO Transit.

Buy your GO eTicket!

J.C. Saddington Park in Mississauga

The Credit River flows into Lake Ontario at J.C. Saddington Park in Mississauga. The park is free to enter and the Credit River is a good spot to try trout fishing. You also have a chance of catching some salmon and carp, depending on your timing during the season. 

Take the Lakeshore West line to Port Credit GO Station and then it’s approximately a 20-minute walk to J.C. Saddington Park via the Waterfront Trail and Front St South.

Milne Dam Conservation Park in Markham

The Rouge River runs through Milne Dam Conservation Park in Markham and offers opportunities for bass fishing, as well as catching rainbow trout, brown trout, Chinook salmon, and northern pike.

Admission to Milne Dam Conservation Park is free on weekdays. On weekends and statutory holidays, admission is $5.00 for adults and $3.90 for seniors (debit or credit only). Children ages 15 and under are always free.

Take the Stouffville line to Centennial GO Station and then walk south via McCowan Rd to Milne Dam Conservation Park. It’s about a 20-25 minute walk.

Rogers Reservoir Conservation Area in East Gwillimbury 

Near Newmarket, you can find fishing spots along the Holland River in Rogers Reservoir Conservation Area. Black crappie, yellow perch, and northern pike are some of possible fish you might catch in the Holland River, and admission to the conservation area is free.

Take the Barrie line to East Gwillimbury GO Station and then follow the Nokiidaa Bike Trail north into Rogers Reservoir Conservation Area. Find a spot along the river that looks lucky and cast your line!

Rouge National Urban Park in Scarborough

For fishing spots in Toronto, head to Rouge National Urban Park in Scarborough (admission is free). The Rouge River is home to yellow perch, carp, rainbow trout, brown trout, bullhead, and Chinook salmon. It’s also one of the best bass fishing spots in Toronto, and you have a chance of catching both smallmouth and largemouth bass.

Take the Lakeshore East line to Rouge Hill GO Station and then walk 10-15 minutes east along the Waterfront Trail to get to Rouge Beach. Most anglers fish near the mouth of the river where it attaches to the beach. You can also find good fishing spots in the surrounding marshes.

What To Know Before You GO

Being prepared and knowing the rules are the keys to a successful fishing trip in Ontario! 

Know the Ontario Fishing Zones

Ontario is divided into 20 Fisheries Management Zones and each zone has its own rules that must be followed in order to protect fish populations.

The fishing spots listed above are all located in either Zone 16 or Zone 20— read through the rules for fishing specific species, and note the exceptions listed for fishing the Credit River. Also, be aware that Lake Ontario fishing is Zone 20, while the rivers that feed it are not.

If you are planning to fish anywhere in Ontario this season, use the Fish ON-Line interactive map to determine the fishing zone and then check the regulations for that area.

Know the Ontario Fishing Regulations

Whether it’s your first time fishing or your 400th, it is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with the Ontario fishing regulations. The fishing regulations are updated annually, so make it a habit to check them at the start of each year.

Know How to Fish!

If you’re a newbie to the world of angling, check out Ontario’s Learn to Fish program. This free 2-hour program is offered in-person at various locations during the summer for both kids and adults, and also as an interactive online program that you can access from home. It’s a great way to learn the basics so you feel a little more confident planning your first fishing trip — or as a way to introduce angling to your non-fishing friends and relatives.  

Know What to Bring on a Fishing Trip

Prepare for your day of casts & catches with this basic fishing trip packing list: 

Take an Ontario Fishing Trip with GO Transit

The best time to fish is typically early morning or at dusk, so be sure to check your GO schedule when planning your fishing trip so you have the best shot at scoring a big catch! 

Let's GO Fishing

Land Acknowledgement

Metrolinx acknowledges that it operates on lands that have been, and continue to be, home to many Indigenous Peoples including the Anishnabeg, the Haudenosaunee and the Huron-Wendat peoples. We are all Treaty people. Many of us have come here as settlers, as immigrants or involuntarily as part of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, in this generation, or generations past. We acknowledge the historic and continued impacts of colonization and the need to work towards meaningful reconciliation with the original caretakers of this land. We acknowledge that Metrolinx operates on territories and lands covered by many treaties that affirm and value the rights of Indigenous communities, Nations and Peoples. We understand the importance of working towards reconciliation with the original caretakers of this land. At Metrolinx, we will conduct business in a manner that is built on a foundation of trust, respect and collaboration.