Lake Nipissing – Ontario’s Ice Fishing Destination!

by | Jan 31, 2023 | Outdoor Adventure, Sports, Tourism Activities & Experiences, Winter

Featured Image: Beautiful Sunset over Lake Nipissing – credit: Paul Ritter

Why Lake Nipissing?


When you think ice fishing in Ontario, Lake Nipissing must be in that conversation. This Northern Ontario Lake is only 3 hours north of Toronto and is full of Walleye, Perch, Northern Pike and Burbot. This wide range of target species is bound to keep you busy and our healthy cisco population will make up for any lulls in the target bite.


Using the auger to go ice fishing on Lake Nipissing

Fishing on Lake Nipissing is perfect day or night – credit: Mat Koprash


The local MNRF has done a great job protecting and growing the Walleye population with science backed slot sizes. Fish are plenty and the opportunity to harvest table fare is increasing annually. The larger year class fish have been showing up more regularly in the 27-30” range!


Ice Fishing is an out door family activity

Ice Fishing is not only about the big catches is about sharing it with family – credit: @mantra_fishing


Lake Nipissing is over 60km long and 25km wide with an average depth of 15 feet. The lake is made up of a sandy basin filled with rock shoals and boulders which transition to mud flats in deeper depths. This is a recipe for a very healthy fishery for both numbers and size. Winter makes access and opportunities to target fish abundant with the City of North Bay being your host destination. North Bay has many opportunities to access the lake and has many local providers waiting to greet you.

Lake Nipissing and North Bay

Aerial shot of Lake Nipissing and North Bay – credit: Tourism North Bay

Lake Nipissing Outfitters and Accommodation


Outfitters, Resorts, Hotels and Motels happily await your arrival and provide every option through fully outfitted services including on and off ice accommodations. Ice huts/bungalows, machine/vehicle access and walk out opportunities are available for you to get your next bite. When you pull into town and get a glimpse of Lake Nipissing you will be amazed at how many huts are placed across the entire lake.


Ice Huts on Lake Nipissing

Aerial shot of many ice huts on Lake Nipissing – credit: Tourism North Bay


Ice fishing staples do the trick such as set lines, jig and a minnow, spoons, glide and rattle style baits. Local retailers include Lefebvre’s Source for Adventure and North Bay Outfitters with Billy Bob’s and Trapper Joe’s taking care of all your bait and tackle needs.


My Go To Set Up on Lake Nipissing


My go to set ups include the Abu Garcia Veritas Ice Combo’s including the 27” ML and 28” M which are great all-around ice rods. The Fenwick Elite Tech Ice 42” M is another great rod for larger species like Northern Pike and what is becoming my favourite species – Burbot. Bait recommendations include the Johnny Darter in perch or silver/blue finish, Johnson Splinter spoons and the Berkley Vibrato in Holo Greenie. Another staple is the Northern Tackle Supply Co. Chicletz which are made in North Bay along with many other great products.


That feeling when you reel in a big Walleye

Reeling in a large Walleye- credit Mat Koprash


North Bay is truly an ice fishing town where friends and family take to the ice making memories every weekend. Everywhere you go you either see signs of people commuting to or from the lake, telling stories of caught fish or the trophy that got away. So come join us! Grab a spool of line, split shots and a pack of hooks and make plans to experience everything Lake Nipissing and North Bay have to offer!


Family ice fishing on Lake Nipissing

Family and friends ice fishing on Lake Nipissing – credit: Tourism North Bay

About Mathew Koprash

Mathew is an avid angler and is the President of the North Bay Bassmasters tournament fishing club. He brought the OBN Provincial Qualifier to Lake Nipissing in 2018 and 2022. Mathew has called North Bay home since 2015 and tries to cover all the local lakes and attractions the City and surroundings have to offer with his wife and two sons.

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