Located right in the city core near the base of Coxwell Avenue, Ashbridges Bay Park is best known for its expansive sandy beaches and its marina facilities, including washrooms and two good concrete launch ramps. It also offers good seasonal fishing for shore anglers.
The shorelines accessed via Martin Goodman Trail offer good spring fishing for pike and panfish, particularly on the protected marina lagoon. Pike anglers do best on spoons, spinners, minnowbaits and spinnerbaits fan-cast through the protected marina lagoon. As elsewhere in Division 20, the season closes from April 1 till the first Saturday in May, but cool water usually means some large fish remain in the area for a few weeks after the season resumes. Fishing the same areas with small jigs or live baits under a float produces a variety of panfish species, including bluegill, black crappie, yellow perch and occasional white bass.
Fishing activity at Ashbridges Bay picks up by late May when it becomes a popular jumping-off spot for anglers in search of offshore trout and salmon. Located just east of the Toronto Islands and the Leslie Street Spit, it offers excellent launching facilities and a short boat ride to the main summer fishing zone. And because it is entirely located outside of Toronto Harbour, boaters do not require a special harbour license, also known as the Power Vessel Operator’s Permit. The peak action occurs in July and August, and lasts well into September most years.
Shore anglers fishing Ashbridges Bay in summer enjoy limited action with smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, carp and panfish. But the best shore angling comes in late summer, when cooler water temperatures attract roaming schools of brown trout. Casting spoons, spinners and crankbaits, or fishing with spawn or live minnows, either on bottom or beneath a slender float, catches the most fish. The fish move in and out following schools of bait fish, so it is not unusual to have no action for hours, suddenly catch a fish on every cast for an hour or more, then have no bites again for the rest of the day. The action begins in late August and lasts into the winter, with October the prime time. A long-handled net makes landing fish a lot easier, especially when fishing from the rocks on the lake side.