Skip to Content

Don’t Forget: Free Family Fishing Weekend Coming Up in Ontario

Don’t Forget: Free Family Fishing Weekend Coming Up in Ontario

Four times a year, all Canadian residents can fish in Ontario for free! You won’t need a license to fish on Ontario waters, and the first date this year is this weekend! 

So, if you want to head out with your family this weekend to show them the great Ontario outdoors, keep reading this article to get all the details for the Ontario Fishing Weekend. 

The Ontario Family Fishing Weekend

Take your family fishing this weekend

Can you think of any family members or relatives who don’t spend much time outside and would enjoy a day’s fishing with you? 

You may have kids who spend way too much time indoors. Or maybe you want to reconnect with a distant relative. 

As an avid angler and father of two daughters, I can tell you that there is no better way to do so than by heading out and going fishing with them.

Or maybe you and your family have never tried fishing and want to give it a go. 

This year’s first free Ontario family fishing event is the perfect occasion for such an endeavor!

This first fishing event consists of 3 license-free days from February 17 through February 19, 2024. 

That’s right, this weekend! 

Fees for a one-day fishing license in Ontario range from $12.21 for Ontario residents to $15.21 for Canadian residents. 

Say you’d like to go fishing for one day with two children and one other adult; that would amount to $48.84 for Ontario residents and $60,84 for Canadian residents.

If you’d be fishing the entire three days, you’d instead have to pay $146,52 if you are an Ontario resident or $182,52 if you are a Canadian resident. 

And so, this family fishing weekend actually saves you a lot of money! 

That aside, though, these events are great opportunities to bring people and families closer together and introduce them to the beautiful sport of fishing. 

The Ontario authorities are doing a smart and positive thing here!

How Do You Participate?

You’ve got two options to participate in this weekend’s free family fishing:

Join a Publish Fishing Event

There are several family fishing events and derbies taking place all over Ontario this weekend:

Submit Your Family Event

Take your family, go fishing anywhere in Ontario, and submit your “family event” to receive a free digital fishing package and get the chance to win a $500 Fishing Prize Pack from Lucky Strike, Shimano, and Ontario Out of Doors!

For more information about the “family event” and how to submit it, please follow this link.  

BONUS: Enter the Photo Contest

For a second chance at the prize pack, a photo contest on social media will be held February 17-19.

For more detailed information on how to enter the photo contest, please follow this link!

IMPORTANT: Ontario Fishing Regulations Still Apply

While you can fish for free during the Ontario family fishing weekend, please remember that fishing regulations and other rules still apply during these license-free days. 

Additionally, it’s important to know that a National Park fishing license is required to fish in Canadian National Parks.

While fishing, make sure to remember these basic rules:

  • follow conservation license catch limits
  • obey size limits and sanctuaries
  • follow the respective fishing regulations
  • carry a permit or identification card issued by the provincial or federal government showing your name and date of birth

For more detailed information about regulations and rules, please check the Ontario Fishing Regulations Summary

Free Rod and Reel Loans

TackleShare loans out rods and reels for free. If you need fishing equipment, you can gear up at locations across the province, including:

  • Ontario provincial parks
  • conservation authorities
  • libraries

This is a great initiative for beginners or families with a limited budget! I have a lot of admiration and respect for such things.

NEW TO FISHING? Then check out Ontario’s Learn How to Fish Guide!

Urban Areas Are Great for Fishing Too

Do you live in a bigger city? No problem! You can enjoy fishing in urban areas as well!

For more information, check out Ontario’s helpful Urban Fishing Guide

Important Ice Safety Tips

This winter has been exceptionally warm, and the ice on many waters across Ontario can be sketchy and unpredictable. 

Please always check with local anglers, charters, resorts, or hut rentals before heading out on a lake, and make sure to follow these basic safety tips.

Please remember: An ice fishing trip is great fun, but it’s not worth risking your or your loved ones’ health or life for!

Tip #1: Always check ice thickness

The first and most important thing is always to check the thickness of the ice! 

Generally speaking, you should stay off ice that’s less than 4 inches thick. PERIOD! 

Personally, I prefer 6 inches, just in case, but 4 will generally do, though. However, you must check the ice on your way out constantly. 

4 inches of ice can quickly turn into 2 or 1 inches. And boom, you’re going through! 

Tip #2: Trust your spud bar

Courtesy of Tommy Rudack

A spud bar or ice chisel is probably your most important tool on the ice! It’ll help you check the thickness and compactness of the ice. 

Personally, I wouldn’t head out without one. It’s really vital! 

A spud bar allows you to test the ice quickly and frequently, saving you time and energy, as you won’t have to drill dozens of holes with your auger. 

Tip #3: Always wear ice picks

Never go on the ice without wearing that good old, trusted pair of ice picks around your neck!

If, God forbid, you should fall through, these things can end up saving your life! 

Without them, you might never be able to pull yourself out of the water and onto the ice.

So please don’t take them off while ice fishing. That’s not the point of bringing them!

And with that, I wish you a great weekend and lots of fun and fish.

Tight lines!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *