The Toronto Island has an abundant amount of water ways that go through the island and make for one of the best fishing locations in Toronto. There are also many marinas which attract a great northern pike and carp population. Bass, including both largemouth and smallmouth are also abundant throughout the waters of The Toronto Islands. At the island there are kayak and canoes available for rent which will give better fishing opportunities.
How to get to the Toronto Islands
You can get to the island either by the ferry that departs from harbour front or by your own boat or canoe. There are three different points you can get to by taking the ferry. There is Hanlan’s Point on the western part of the island, Center Island and the third point is Ward’s Island on the eastern part. The cost of the ferry is $7.25 for adults which includes return fare.
Ward Island Fishing
The best fishing spot closest to the ferry is off of Cibola Avenue casting toward Algonquin Island. A decent pike population around the island. There are a lot of boats which attracts small sunfish and perch who take cover under them to get out of the sun. Pike and largemouth have abundant food in these areas because of the smaller fish.
Center Island Fishing
Long Pond is just a short walk off the ferry and provides great action in the summer months. The two most common fish are carp and pike. The carp get to be quite large here and can reach up to twenty pounds. Pike average about four pounds here and can be caught on spinnerbaits and spoons. For those with boats the water depth is very uneven so beware of sudden shallow rocks and logs that come close to the water surface.
Hanlan’s Point Fishing
From the mouth down towards Lakeshore Avenue is the best location in this area. Many small baitfish are in the area that can be seen along the shoreline, which attract a great pike population. Near the marina is the best spot for casting. The water is quite deep here as many large boats move through here which allows for cooler water and larger pike to come through. There is some distance between the water and the ridge where anglers can cast which makes landing larger fish difficult. The use of a net if fishing here is highly suggested.
For those with access to boats, the journey to Center Island is a fishing hot spot filler with pike. Some pike in this area reach up to fifteen pounds. Trolling along through the water that separates Center Island from Toronto harbour front is a perfect spot that attracts huge pike and some trout pending on the season. Pike and trout are attracted to the cooler water that the spring brings. Note to not get to close to the airport and know what the buoys mean in the area.
Through the island walk way, try to cast in areas that are semi enclosed and offer some tree cover when fishing for Largemouth bass. The weedy shallows provide excellent locations for bass using spinner baits and top water baits in very high weed levels. Under some bridges are excellent spots for where bass try to escape the heat of the sun. The largemouth average about three pounds through the islands and are great fighters. Smallmouth can primarily be caught around the mouths of the entrances to the island. They prefer cooler waters that the mouths provide.
Carp are huge at Toronto Islands, reaching twenty pounds. The carp love the many marinas throughout the island that provide ideal ecosystems for them. Carp can often be seen in groups near the water surface. When targeting carp sweet corn is the best bait to use. Placing a few kernels of corn on your hook accompanied by a weight along the bottom of the water is best for carp. In the marinas that allow fishing, try leaving your bait on the bottom for ten minutes and if no takers, cast in a new spot in the marina and try again.
Pike stay mostly close to the many marinas around Toronto Island, as they move with the food. They can also be caught from any point along trails but mostly set up territories in enclosed areas which are easier to dominate. Pike can be caught on large spoons, spinner baits and minnow baits. Try live minnows on hooks for pike and wire leaders. Pliers will also be needed for the removal of the hooks, as pike have sharp teeth. Pike mostly eat perch, sunfish and other small baitfish. They also eat some small insects, leeches and frogs. Using lures that mimic these are perfect for pike.
Sunfish are also abundant throughout the island waterways. They seek out the island to find cover from bass, pike and the occasional walleye that comes near the island. These fish are often found in the same places as perch located under bridges, boats and docks in the marinas. Although sunfish are not large, they provide consistent action and are great for kids or an angler just looking for a quick catch. Sunfish can be caught on hooks and night crawlers. Floats such as bobbers or slip bobbers are also ideal as it gives additional opportunities away from the shore.
Schools of perch make their way into the weedy shallows of the Toronto Island. These perch average around six inches and the larger fish reach eight inches which is about half a pound. Perch stay near docks, heavy weeds and under logs that provide cover from the sun as well as from other large fish in the area such as bass and pike. These can be caught mostly with night crawlers on small hooks and jigs. Wire leaders are not necessary for perch, however swivels are suggested so anglers can switch between lures and hooks quickly. Lures that are excellent for perch are small minnow baits, artificial night crawlers and lures that resemble large bugs. Casting along the shoreline through the weedy shallows of Centre Island and through the other points will provide excellent action.