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Here are just a few basics you’ll need to know while planning your fishing trip in Ontario.
All non-residents and residents of Canada require an Outdoors Card or a Temporary Outdoors Card accompanied by a valid fishing licence tag for non-Canadian residents. Non-residents under the age of 18 may fish without a licence if accompanied by a licenced family member. Any fish caught are part of the limit of the person with the licence. Canadian residents require a resident fishing licence tag and a current resident Outdoors Card.
Applications are available online and at most sporting-goods stores, bait and tackle outlets, and at district offices of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Please note you can purchase both your Outdoors Card and Fishing License Tag at the same time.
Read or download Ontario’s Fishing Regulations.
You cannot bring live minnows, smelts, leeches or any other bait fish into Ontario from the U.S. Night crawlers are allowed but they must be brought in containers with artificial bedding only. Read more information on fishing bait rules.
With countless lakes and streams, it is important that anglers are aware of the general regulations and of any exceptions to the general regulations (e.g. specific slots or catch and possession limits) that may apply to the lake you will be fishing.
You can trailer or cruise your boat into Canada. Customs officers stationed along highway border crossings and at harbours issue permits, which must be returned upon departure. Many destinations offer remote area border crossings that require you to register by telephone. Get more information from Canada Border Services.
Clean boats insure clean waters, prevent the spread of invading species.
In some areas of Ontario and on many individual bodies of water, you cannot use nor possess any kind of live bait. You can find a complete set of provincial rules, including restrictions on fishing with live bait in the Ontario Fishing Regulations Summary.
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