Ontario Fish Species


Assortment of fishing pictures featuring Jim Estabrooks, Mike Jackson, Cameron Estabrooks, Maddy Estabrooks, Ethan Jackson, Steve Estabrooks, and more!

The Fishing World team has compiled this list of useful information about various fish species. Good luck out there anglers!



  • Southern Ontario has world class bass fishing (particularly for smallmouth bass) in Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, Lake Simcoe, Lake St. Clair, and the St. Lawrence River.
  • There are two main types of bass:

Picture of a largemouth bass | Fishing World | Canada

    • Largemouth Bass: Larger mouth. Greener in colour. Found in warmer/shallower water



Picture of a smallmouth bass | Fishing World | Canada

    • Smallmouth Bass: Smaller Mouth. Brown in colour. Often refereed to as a Bronze Back. Stronger and feistier. Found in cooler water.


Picture of a common carp | Fishing World | Canada

  • Carp are strong, bottom feeding fish that offer a great fight! They are brown in color with big lips and large scales. They can be found in waters as shallow as 2 feet or as deep as 40 feet. Along with popularity in Europe, Carp fishing has a strong following in Ontario. Fishing World has everything you need with a large selection of carp related gear.


Picture of a flathead catfish | Fishing World | Canada

  • Catfish are a bottom feeding fish primarily found in rivers, but also lakes. They have a dark green/brown top with a lighter underbelly. Catfish have a flat head along with their trademark cat-like whiskers.


Picture of a black crappie | Fishing World | Canada

  • Crappie are a round shaped fish with a paper-thin mouth. They are predominately white in colour with black spots and a green hue along their back. They taste great and are easiest to catch in the spring. They can be found anywhere whether in a lake, river, or pond.


Picture of a muskie (sometimes spelt musky) | Fishing World | Canada

  • Muskie are long fish that are greenish grey in colour with spots and/or stripes. This species can reach up to 50 pounds in size. Often referred to as a fish of 10,000 casts, they are aggressive and have a mouthful of teeth! Ontario is lucky enough to have three of the Top 10 Muskie fishing spots in the world. This includes Lake St. Clair, Georgian Bay, and the St. Lawrence River with special mention to the Niagara River which is on the rebound.


Picture of a yellow perch | Fishing World | Canada

  • One of Ontario’s most popular panfish, Perch can be found in any type of water system and they can be caught shallow or deep. It is a long, smaller fish up to 14 inches that is greenish in colour with stripes and orange accents. They can be caught all year long making them great for ice fishing.


Picture of a northern pike | Fishing World | Canada

  • Pike are very aggressive and have a long spotted body. They are in all types of waters and gravitate towards heavily weeded areas. They have a greenish grey colour and they are closely related to the muskie, but not as big. This species can grow up to 35 pounds.


Picture of a chinook salmon | Fishing World | Canada
  • Salmon are silver coloured fish that can be found in all the Great Lakes. They are a cold-water species that spawns in rivers and streams all across Ontario during the fall. As one of the most exciting fish to catch in the province, this strong species will put up a good fight.
  • Main Types: Chinook (pictured above), Coho, Pink, Atlantic


Picture of a type of sunfish called bluegill | Fishing World | Canada

  • Sunfish are colourful panfish that taste excellent! The sunfish family is made up of many different varieties including the bluegill (pictured above) and pumpkinseed. They are mainly found in warm shallow water with blue, orange, or yellow accents. This smaller species usually never grows more than 12 inches long and they are quite abundant in the water. This makes them a great species for kids to catch while learning to fish.


Picture of a rainbow trout | Fishing World | Canada

  • Trout are a long and narrow fish that vary in color depending on the type. They are a cold-water species that can be found in all the Great Lakes along with rivers and streams. A trout can be caught in a variety of ways including trolling, river fishing, and fly fishing.
  • Main Types: 
    • Brown Trout: Numerous black spots on top of its brown skin
    • Rainbow Trout (pictured above): Silver in colour with some green and a red streak
    • Lake Trout: Green in colour with white spots and a silver underbelly



Picture of a walleye | Fishing World | Canada

  • Walleye are a long and narrow fish that are olive green in colour with yellow and gold hues. They are Ontario’s most popular gamefish and they are great to eat! They can be caught in lakes and rivers all year long. This makes them very popular during the ice fishing season.