Where Should Your Next Fishing Vacation Be?

Check these key factors for choosing a family fishing adventure in Ontario.

When you are looking for your next great fishing destination, Ontario should be top of mind. Here are a few things to look for when you are planning your next fishing vacation to Ontario, Canada.

The Fishery


It goes without saying: in selecting a destination for your hard-earned family vacation or a week away with your pals, the fishery you choose is first and foremost. However, there are a number of factors to consider with respect to how the lodge or outpost camp you choose fishes.

If you’re looking for excellent fishing opportunities, the first consideration in choosing your destination is whether it is a conservation-based outfit. Lodges that practice strict catch and release for pre-determined slot fish (specific length for harvest) generally will yield a better fishing experience.


The location of your experience can also affect how well the area fishes. Consider fly-in adventures if you’re looking for the best possible fishing. Most fly-in lodges have very limited access by other means by other anglers such as snowmobile, ATV or boat. That is the reason they have chosen such a location for the lodge. Many outfits with access by road or other means might experience more angling pressure; it’s not always the case, but doesn’t a fly-in adventure just seems way more fun?



Choosing a lodge that has a variety of species is also a key factor in the choice of destination. To increase your opportunity to catch fish, choose a lodge that has a variety of species that you can angle depending on weather, location, and the people you have with you. You can choose to fish for high-density species such as walleye, bass, pike, or panfish, or you can choose to target, for example, a species dubbed as “the fish of 10,000 casts”—the musky. These are all considerations in your choice of location.

Guide or No Guide


Consider a lodge that provides a guide service. Having a guide show you the ropes on a new body of water is a key factor to early angling success. Guides have the on-the-water experience you will eventually acquire—they know not only the locations of high percentage spots, but they know how to get you there and back safely. Not to mention that many guides are on the water non-stop; they are dialled into the patterns of the species you target. They generally will cost a little extra than your base fare, but their knowledge is invaluable and is guaranteed to result in your catching more and bigger, fish.



The lodging industry is simply the hospitality industry, which happens to have a fishing activity available. Whether you choose a full-service lodge facility or a DIY outpost camp adventure, accommodations are key! Clean, comfortable, well-kept rooms or cabins are imperative. Online review services such as Tripadvisor can open a window to the world that can sway you in your decision positively or negatively. The bottom line is, research is key. These services will often discuss, praise, or critique the staff, the food, the fishing, and the overall experience.



The web can also be a great indicator of the level of service you can expect from a lodge. There is a great deal to be seen simply by scrolling through the lodge’s photo and video gallery. The gallery page (which should be on every lodge website) can tell you a great deal about your stay. Some things you can decipher with a little forensic photo searching are:

  • Quality of fishing equipment—if the rods and reels look like they’re from the ’70s, you should probably keep looking.
  • Condition of boats and motors—how the lodge looks after their workhorses is a vital component. 
  • Quality of fishery—look for big fish and more importantly, big smiles (with smaller fish as well).

Make Contact

Finally, call or email the lodge. Get someone on the phone or if they are worth their salt, they should quickly follow up with you personally after an email inquiry. This is a great opportunity to gauge their friendliness and their desire to have you as a guest at their lodge. You can ask anything of them at this point, simply start a conversation.

There is a multitude of choices and factors that go into your final decision as to what fishing lodge is lucky enough to host you, your family, and your friends. You hold the cards! Ask the proper questions, put in your own due diligence for research, and simply look forward to what should be an unbelievable vacation for all.

About Mark Melnyk

Currently, Mark is the host and producer of The New Fly Show. With a passion of fly fishing, the shows goal is to help both novice and veteran fly fishers everywhere by giving them a top-quality fly fishing series that will make them better anglers. 

Recommended Articles

Top 10 Ice Fishing Lakes

Every kind of fish and experience—Ontario ice fishing is some of the best in the world.

Predicting Lake Thickness

When Will Ontario Lakes Freeze Over This Winter?

Top 5 Flies for Smallmouth Bass

The inside scoop on bass flies from the hosts of The New Fly Fisher.

5 Deadliest Fishing Lures

Use these lures when ice fishing for lake trout in Northern Ontario.

Ontario Brook Trout

Fish these 10 sweet spots.

Best WhiteFish Tactics

In Part Two, Learn Best Rods, Reels and Lure Presentations for Whitefish

3 Great Ontario Walleye Destinations

Karl of Extreme Angler recommends must do walleye lakes in Ontario.

Lake of the Woods

10 Facts You Didn't Know

Fishing and Foraging

Add some fresh foods and forage to your fishing adventures!

Top 5 Musky Destinations in Ontario

The Musky Hunter shows you where to land the best musky in Ontario waters.

Eating Northern Pike

The Best Recipe to Cook This Fish

Big Lake Abitibi

Ice Fishing With Dunn Right Outfitters

Five Brook Trout Flies

What flies to bring when fishing for brook trout.

Leuenberger Air Service Is Your Ticket to Ontario's Best Fishing

Discover remote outpost fishing for northern pike, walleye, and whitefish

Angling the Missinaibi

Exploring and fishing the mighty Missinaibi River

The Eyes Have it

How to Use a Natural Resource as Bait

5 Places to Shore Fish

Fish’n Canada shows you where to go shore fishing in Ontario.

Yellow Perch Egg-Stacy

Hardcore perch anglers, read on!

Long Nose Gar

A Fish for the Bucket List

Great Fishing in Northern Lights Country Up Highway 588

Find bass, walleye and trout on your next fishing trip.