Much of the information on fishing the Toronto Islands applies equally to Toronto Harbour itself, with some notable exceptions.
The harbour is home to a small population of northern pike. Resident juvenile fish up to about five pounds are available year-round, while adult pike tent to spend their summers in the cold, open waters of Lake Ontario, appearing in the harbour itself from September till March. Although some of these fish may reach 40 inches in length (or more!), experienced anglers forsake oversized pike and muskie lures in favour of smaller spoons, suspending minnowbaits, inline spinners and spinnerbaits that are closer in size to their chief prey – smelt and alewife in the six- to eight-inch range.
The weedy harbour shorelines are also home to a healthy population of largemouth bass, including some genuine trophy fish. Look for largemouth to take advantage of virtually any type of cover – this includes natural features like dense weed beds or sunken logs, to man-made features like sea walls and channel markers. Bass (and pike) frequently move in order to take advantage of short-term feeding opportunities, so pay special attention to wind direction and always fish the windward side of cover.
Weedbeds are also great places to find a variety of panfish, including a good population of black crappie. These popular fish are difficult to find, but easy to catch – small white panfish jigs under a small float are all that’s required.
Located right in the downtown core, Toronto Harbour offers excellent access by public transit. Parking, although expensive, is abundant.
Again, anglers operating a boat inside Toronto Harbour proper will require a “harbour license,” more properly known as the Power Vessel Operator’s Permit. Information on this permit can be found online at www.torontoport.com/port_permits_intro.asp