Something to considering trying this winter is Ice Fishing on Lake Simcoe at Minet’s Point in Barrie. If you have yet to visit the spot, you are in for a treat, on first glance you will feel like you have stumbled into an ice fishing village, with hundreds of tepee type structured lodges and box cabins. No matter when you arrive there are people coming and going, saying hello and laughter heard all around you. It is definitely an experience worth taking part in during the winter season.
Around December you can start to find affordable deals for a 4-hour experience for up to 10 people with gear, bait, a wood stove and wood for the fire. All deals vary so make sure you read the fine print, ask about what is included, additional fees, and if there are any hidden costs like cabin clean up charges and extra taxes.
In addition to any of the experience costs, you will also need to purchase a fishing license if you do not already have one. By law, anyone fishing needs to hold a permit to fish, but rest assured the licenses are not too expensive, and you can easily get a one-day or yearly license online here
Whether you catch fish or not, I highly recommend the experience. I can tell you first hand that I did not catch any fish during my first ice fishing trip, but I absolutely loved the experience. Not only is this sport a great way to embrace the winter, but it is also a great way to bond with friends, family, coworkers and complete strangers! It is a low energy, non-strenuous activity, suitable for all ages, and best enjoyed in-group settings.
THINGS TO BRING:
- Fish bucket
- Beverages/ Water (cups if you need them)
- Snacks (napkins, plates, utensils if you need them)
- First Aid Kit
- Hand and feet warmers, gloves, scarves, toque
- Ice scoop
- Winter boots
- Wet naps for cleaning your fingers after hooking bait
- Fishing gear (depending on what is provided you might want additional items such as: sinkers, alternative bait options, needle nose pliers, fishing gloves, a knife, jigs and hooks)
- Check if you have a wood stove in your cabin, if so bring soup and hot drinks (don’t forget a ladle, spoons, cups or bowels that you may need)
- If you will be fishing anytime after sunset make sure your cabin comes with a lantern, otherwise bring one!
- Keep your feet off the ground to keep them warm (keep your feet on a log/bucket/anything to keep them off the floor)
- Consider preparing a few campfire type games to help pass the time while fishing (riddles, question-games etc)
- Dress warmly and in layers (regardless of whether your cabin has a wood stove or not!)