Ice Fishing – One Cool Winter Activity!

Family ice fishing at Island Lake.

Get Hooked on Ice Fishing

We have had a cold start to February already! And although you may be hoping for an early spring, these cold winter winds are creating great conditions for ice fishing. The temperatures have been steadily cold enough in Orangeville, that we are able to open Island Lake Conservation Area for walk-on ice fishing.

We officially kicked off ice fishing season on January 18. Currently, we have seven inches of black ice, making it safe for visitors to access the lake in search of their next big catch. We’ve already seen eager anglers out on the lake reeling in a big Northern pike.

Person holding large fish
Northern pike caught at Island Lake in January.
Photo credit: @alexd_fishing

Looking at Orangeville’s weather forecast over the coming weeks, it seems like the cold weather is here to stay. We expect conditions to remain favourable for our upcoming Island Lake Ice Fishing Derby. Our annual event is popular among seasoned anglers, but it can also be a fun experience for those looking for a new winter activity, especially if you have a competitive spirit. The annual derby is one of two derbies held at the park each year. The event features great catch prizes in both adult and youth categories, so bring the whole family for a chance to win!

Person standing on frozen lake, holding up fish
Michael Warner holding his first place catch in the Northern pike category at the 2022 Island Lake Ice Fishing Derby.

The event takes place February 11 to 20. Registration is now available, and if you register by February 10 at noon, you will be entered in a draw to win an Individual Credit Valley Parks Pass.

If you plan on heading out to Island Lake for ice fishing, please remember a valid Ontario Fishing Licence is required to participate. If you’re new to ice fishing and want to try it with the family, you can take advantage of Ontario Family Fishing Weekend February 18 to 20 as this is a licence-free fishing weekend. We also have ice fishing rod rentals available at the park to get you started.

Tips for a Good Ice Fishing Experience

Here are a few tips as you plan your ice fishing excursion:

  1. Dress in layers to help you stay warm all day long. Pack extra gloves, a toque and heavy socks.
  2. Bring a thermos with a hot drink and easy snacks such as granola bars, protein bars or jerky to keep you going during your adventure.
  3. Please don’t dump any remaining live bait down the ice holes. Return it or pay it forward to a fellow angler.
  4. Be respectful of nature by keeping your fishing holes clean. Dispose of your garbage properly so that everyone can enjoy a clean environment and a day of ice fishing.
  5. Just have fun!
Two youth standing on a frozen lake holding a big northern pike with a ice fishing hut in the background
Logan Stevenson won 1st place in the kids category with the biggest Northern pike caught at the 2022 Island Lake Ice Fishing Derby.

Please check Parks Advisories for more information about park conditions and rentals.

To register for the Annual Island Lake Derby visit

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By Kimberley Laird, Associate, Marketing and Communications

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