Ice Fishing is All About Making Memories (and Catching World Class Fish!)

Plan an ice fishing trip with your crew in style—here are the best ice hut rentals in Northeastern Ontario

Whether you’ve seen pictures of happy anglers and big fish making the rounds on your social media or have always just wanted to try something different with your fishing buddies, renting an ice hut is the way to go. Ice huts (also variously known as ice shacks, shanties, houses, bungalows or castles) are an ideal way to extend your fishing season, allowing you to get out on the ice for much of the winter. They also extend your fishing days, because being warm and comfy lets you stay out on the ice longer—protected from the wind and cold that make our beautiful northern lakes such world-class ice fishing destinations.

Northeastern Ontario, just a few hours’ drive from Toronto and Ottawa, has hundreds of thousands of lakes to discover. Temperature-wise, it’s typically got an early freeze and late-spring thaw so you have plenty of time to fish all winter long. Local lodges, outfitters and tour operators offer a variety of ice huts, from the classic wooden shack to portable pop-ups to luxurious ice bungalows outfitted with the comforts of home so you can spend the night on the ice. Several tour operators also offer transportation to and from the shacks, fire wood and extra supplies for an all around comfortable day. 

Whether it be your first trip out, or a returning trip to your favourite spot, here are some ice hut rentals to consider!

Lake Nipissing and North Bay area

Lake Nipissing is the fourth-largest lake in Ontario and is known for its great fishing opportunities. In 2023 it was crowned the #1 Ice Fishing Destination in Canada by FishingBooker. Anglers go after walleye, perch, pike, musky, burbot, gar, smallmouth bass and cisco. And in the winter, it’s famous for its village of ice huts, from simple structures to fancy overnight bungalows dotted across the huge expanse of ice. There are more than 20 ice fishing huts and bungalows you can rent on Lake Nipissing!

Bam's bungalows in the sunset

Fish in Comfort With Bam's Tours Lake Nipissing Ice Bungalows

Get cozy at Bam's with a propane stove and heater, woodstove, bunk beds, wash bin for dishes, and a countertop to fillet your catches (and portable toilet facilities). Transportation to and from the bungalow and one dozen minnows per person are also included. 

Sudbury area

The Sudbury area has more than 300 lakes where you can try your luck. Why not include an ice fishing trip during your winter camping experience at Windy Lake Provincial Park? Stay in a rustic wood cabin that sleeps four, or one of four yurts that sleep four to six. Then, you can opt into their ice fishing package, available at the Park Office, so you don’t have to bring your own gear in your quest to catch lake trout, pike, walleye or smallmouth bass through the ice on Windy Lake. The package includes a sled that turns into a portable ice fishing shelter for two, two rods and reels, tip-ups, a bait bucket, auger and tackle.

Temiskaming Shores area

The community of Temiskaming Shores is, of course, on the shores of Lake Temiskaming, a beautiful large lake on the Ontario/Quebec border that covers almost 300 square kilometres and is 110 km long. Anglers fish for lake trout, walleye, burbot, smallmouth bass, and pike. Sutton Bay Park at the north end of the lake is a local favourite as an access point to the lake. Across the bay you’ll find quite the village of locally owned ice huts, and have an opportunity to rent your own as well from Sutton Bay Park. The package includes round-trip transportation, firewood and drilled holes, and you can also inquire about renting an eight-person chalet to retreat on shore to after your time on the ice.

Timmins and Kirkland Lake area

Timmins and its neighbouring communities including Kirkland Lake are surrounded by accessible waterways with great fish populations. In the community of Matechewan, to the south/southwest, you can try your luck at landing fish like splake, lake trout, brook trout, walleye and pike. Rent a wood-heated ice hut from the family-owned Saul Outfitters, in operation since the mid 1960s. Their package includes firewood, guide service, and transportation.

Manitoulin Island area

Experience Lake Huron fishing around the bays of Manitoulin Island, plus more than 100 lakes on the island itself! The largest lake island in the world, this gorgeous location offers plenty of fishing opportunities, in particular for rainbow trout, as well as whitefish, perch, lake trout, walleye, pike and steelhead. You can rent an ice hut by the day or half day at Manitowaning Bay, at the east end of the island, via Wiikwemkoong Tourism. This Indigenous-owned operation has a package that includes an insulated four-person ice hut, propane heater and info on prime rainbow trout locations. Transportation is available for an extra fee.

Explore a new lake or return to an old favourite in the winter with ice hut rentals in Northeastern Ontario. Fish on!

About Bonnie Schiedel

Bonnie Schiedel is the founder of www.tbaywithkids.ca, which covers fun family-friendly attractions, events and restaurants in Thunder Bay. She enjoys canoeing, hiking, snowshoeing and travel, and you can read more of her award-winning work at www.northstarwriting.ca.

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