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Ontario Fishing License: What You Need To Know

purchase ontario fishing license ministry of natural resources ontario fishing license

Fishing, like most thing in life, has rules & regulations backed by law. In Ontario if anyone wants to engage in fishing or angling activities they require an Ontario Fishing License. Despite what License typically implies there are no tests to pass or courses that need to be taken in order to obtain your Ontario Fishing License. Fishing Licenses in Ontario can be purchased from a variety of sources in person (Cabela's, Bass Pro Shops, Canadian Tire, & most outdoor sporting goods store, marina's, or bait shops) or online at Fishing license fees go towards conservation, enforcement, and improvement of Ontario fisheries.

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Regardless if you are an Ontario resident, Canadian resident, or visitor anyone participating in fishing must be licensed. There are two types of fishing licenses that can be purchased in Ontario; sport fishing & conservation fishing. The main difference between these two is how many fish the license holder is legally allowed to harvest or have in their possession and as such the cost also differs. Sport fishing licenses allow anglers higher limits while conservation fishing license anglers are lower. Typically the difference is about half but this will vary between Fisheries Management Zone. It is important to note that for participation in most fishing tournaments a sport fishing license is required as the tournament limits will match those of sport fishing license holders. Your fishing license must be kept on you at all times while on the water as proof. In addition to the fishing license an outdoors card is also needed. Without an outdoors card a fishing license cannot be purchased. The outdoors card is strictly for administration purposes and is valid for 3 years.

It is important to note that all fishing licenses expire on December 31st of the designated year regardless of the time of purchase. For example if you purchase a 1 year license on December 1st you will really only get 1 month of fishing out of it! It is best to purchase licenses early in the year to get the most out of it. 1 year, 3 year, and if needed single day licenses can be purchased.

Does everyone need to purchase a fishing license?

Despite needing to be licensed to participate in fishing activities not everyone needs to purchase a fishing license. Individuals who fit into the descriptions below do not require a fishing license but need to provide proof of fitting into the select category:

  • Have an accessible parking permit issued under Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act

  • Have Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) national identity card

  • Ontario and Canadian residents who are under 18 or 65 years of age or older.

  • Have Canadian Forces Identification Card (NDI 20)

  • Have Record of Service Card (NDI 75)

  • Have Canadian Armed Forces Veteran’s Service Card (NDI 75)

  • Member of indigenous community

  • During Family Fishing Opportunities Dates

Family Fishing Weekend (February 17–19, 2024)

Mother’s Day Weekend (May 11–12, 2024)

Father’s Day Weekend (June 15–16, 2024)

Ontario Family Fishing Week (June 29 – July 7, 2024)

In almost all cases a non-canadian resident must purchase a fishing license to participate in fishing activities in Ontario.

For more information on requirements, exceptions, and any other question you may have regarding Ontario Fishing Licenses refer to the link below

To access Ontario fishing rules & regulations click the link below

From everyone here at New Wave Fishing Academy we hope you get out to enjoy some of the incredible fishing opportunities we have throughout Ontario. Be safe & follow the rules, the fines are much more expensive than doing things right! If you want to learn how to catch fish, target a specific fish, or become a more successful angler check out our huge range of courses that cover everything you need to fish like a pro at the link below:


To experience a day of fishing on the water with us be sure to check out our YouTube channel at the link below.

If you or someone you know is looking to get into fishing or you just want to become a more successful angler be sure to check out our "Zero To Hero Fishing Masterclass" for courses on everything fishing! The masterclass is built to help you learn how to find and catch fish like the pro's by providing all the information you need and a clear development path! Don't miss out check it out now at 

Have you ever wondered why lures don't come with instructions and wanted to know how to fish them? Look no further than our "How To Fish" series where you will learn what each bait is, how to use it, when and where it excels over other baits, our preferred setup to use it on, and the common mistakes anglers make when using it. 

Check out the results of our fishing students and teachers to see what you can accomplish with New Wave Fishing Academy: 

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