April 23, 2024

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8 Top Fishing Destinations in Canada 2023

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There’s no overstating how beautiful Canada is and how much it has to offer to outdoor enthusiasts. Whether it’s mesmerizing sunsets, stretches of untouched wilderness, the magic of the northern lights, or kind people, its charm is unprecedented. It only makes sense then that fishing in Canada is simply fantastic. But the country is vast and unpredictable, so where do you begin? This is where our quick list of the best fishing destinations in Canada comes in handy.

Every year, we take a deep dive into the countless fishing spots across 10 provinces in search of the ones that deserve the spotlight. The selection process is anything but easy, seeing the country’s infinite angling potential. Still, we try! If you’re ready to cast a line in Canada’s gorgeous waters, here are eight locations you should consider.

Calgary, Alberta

Known for: Trout (Bull, Rainbow, Brook, Brown, Cutthroat)

When to visit: May–October

Click here to see regulations and licensing information.

We’re starting our journey in the biggest city in Alberta. More people live here than anywhere else in the province – seeing that this is the sunniest and cleanest city in the country, that’s hardly surprising. And while Calgary is impressive in many ways, the area surrounding it is even more so, especially for anglers.

The Rocky Mountains are right on its doorstep, along with many streams, rivers, and lakes. Wilderness is never more than an hour and a half away from Calgary. Fly fishing is off the hook here, and Trout are the main target.

Bull Trout are the unique draw of the area. These ferocious fighters can grow to be very big, and having them on the fly is an experience. They’re highly protected, and as such, can’t be kept even when you win the fight. That’s why you have your Brown and Rainbow Trout – equally feisty, good to eat, and open for fishing. Then there’s Cutthroat Trout, which are Alberta natives, always ravenous, and ready to attack your fly with wild abandon.

A woman fly fishing on a rocky river near Calgary

There are many watersheds around Calgary where you can test your luck, like Red Deer and Old Man Rivers. The fishing community is welcoming to newcomers, and locals will gladly help you learn the ropes. Camping is free in the area, and even if you come in the dead of winter, you’ll be treated to solid ice fishing.

Sooke, British Columbia

Known for: Salmon (Chinook, Coho), Halibut

When to visit: Year-round

Click here to see regulations and licensing information.

Let’s go to one of the southernmost points of British Columbia, right on the tip of Vancouver Island – Sooke. This stunning piece of coastline is a great place to take a breather from your busy everyday life. Fishing is on fire practically all year, though late fall is known to be slower.

A bay near the town of Sooke on Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island needs no introduction when it comes to its phenomenal fishing scene, and Sooke is no different. All five species of Pacific Salmon pass through these rich waters, each with its own unique seasonality. If you don’t feel like timing your fishing trip, no worries – the Halibut bite is always on. Flatties usually weigh up to 30 pounds, but there are some real bigguns in the cards. How big? There are “Barndoor” Halis out there that can weigh more than 150 pounds.

Salmon share the spotlight with Halibut, and while all five species are around during different parts of the year, it’s Chinook (Blackmouth) Salmon that kick things into gear. Additional bonus – you can target them year-round. The biggest and baddest fish show up in May, when Salmon from Fraser River show up, a lot of them in the 20–50 lb range.

Two smiling women in caps and sunglasses holding two big Chinook Salmon while standing on a fishing boat

Coho (Silver) Salmon are equally popular, especially between June–October. In the summer, Coho are smaller (up to 10 pounds), but fall brings along huge specimens, which can weigh 15 pounds! Pink and Sockeye Salmon are around in late summer, and you can fish for Chum in October and November when everything else isn’t as eager to bite. It’s not hard to understand why Sooke is easily one of the best fishing destinations in Canada.

St. Lawrence River, Quebec

Known for: Northern Pike, Walleye, Bass, Muskellunge

When to visit: Year-round

Click here to see regulations and licensing information.

Fishing in Canada usually means remarkable freshwater action. The poster child for all that potential is the St. Lawrence River. This incredible body of water is almost 1,200 kilometers long, and productive pretty much anywhere you cast your line. However, we’re here to talk about its Quebec section.

A view of downtown Quebec City and St. Lawrence River

The St. Lawrence River flows through the heart of Quebec City and winds on toward the Atlantic Ocean. Many of the freshwater superstars thrive in the river – Northern Pike, Walleye, Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass, and Muskellunge.

Depending on where you plan on fishing, you can also hook into Perch, Brook Trout, Bullhead, and Brill. Northern Pike are one of the all-time favorites on the St. Lawrence River, both because they’re available all year and because they’re strong fighters. Walleye are right behind and they make for good eating.

A vierw of St. Lawrence River near Quebec City

Smallmouth Bass (Bronzebacks) can be found in cold, fast-flowing sections of the river, and if you’re looking for truly big fish, set your sights on Muskellunge and Carp. The fishing opportunities here are as impressive as the river itself. We’d recommend starting your adventure in Quebec City and as you gain more experience, you can move to the remote sections. That way, you can enjoy the scenery almost as much as fishing.

Avalon Peninsula, Newfoundland and Labrador

Known for: Brown Trout, Atlantic Salmon; Cod, Halibut

When to visit: February–September

Click here to see regulations and licensing information.

When we’re talking about the best fishing destinations in Canada, we need to mention Newfoundland and Labrador. There are more fishing spots here than we can count, but the one that stands above all others is the Avalon Peninsula.

An aerial view of Avalon Peninsula cliffs, Newfoundland and Labrador

First, we turn our attention inland, where you can find an abundance of Brown Trout and Atlantic Salmon. Salmonier River, Lower Pond, and Witless Bay all boast amazing catches of sea-run Brownies, which are a unique draw of the region. You better believe that these beauties are a challenge to target – they’re smart and notoriously picky about their food. Still, that’s what makes this fishery so exciting.

The beginning of June marks the start of Atlantic Salmon season, which is short and lasts from June–September. You can also go after Ouananiche, landlocked Atlantic Salmon, which you can find only here. Bear in mind that both Trout and Salmon waters have very strict regulations to prevent overfishing.

A Brown Trout in the net, in shallow water, with a fly fishing rod next to it

On the saltwater front, fishing off the Avalon Peninsula is very good. Cod is very popular here and carries a lot of cultural heritage (locals love and respect the Cod). You can go after Cod from June–October. Big Halibut are also a possibility further offshore, as well as Atlantic Mackerel, Groundfish, and Sharks. The Avalon Peninsula is a very special destination that opens the door to further exploration of this wild and thoroughly beautiful province.

Haida Gwaii, British Columbia

Known for: Salmon, Trout; Lingcod, Halibut

When to visit: March–November

Click here to see regulations and licensing information.

Canada has no shortage of rugged remote territories, and one such region is a haven of passionate recreational fishermen – Haida Gwaii. This remote archipelago is your one-stop shop for fantastic angling action, be it for Salmon, Halibut, Rockfish, and even Tuna.

An aerial view of the rocky coastline of the Haida Gwaii archipelago

The fishing season starts in spring, usually around March, and lasts until November. During that time, you can go after a wide variety of fish all on the same trip. Chinook Salmon are the first to arrive in these waters in mid-May, hungry and willing to chomp into anything that looks appetizing.

Coho, Pink, Sockeye, and Chum Salmon show up later, but they all stick around until December. Needless to say, this is the busiest time in the archipelago, when Lunker Salmon are caught left and right. If you prefer bottom fishing, worry not, there are some great Halibut, Rockfish, and Lingcod at your disposal. You can go after them even when the Salmon are gone, as long as the weather plays along.

A smiling woman in a cap and sunglasses standing in water, with a boat behind her, holding a big Rainbow Trout

Seeing that Haida Gwaii is such an angling epicenter, there are a lot of fishing lodges that cater to all types of anglers. If you’re looking for a unique experience, there are some remote lodges that will take you to the edge of the wilderness to fish its hidden bays and rivers. For this and many other reasons, adventurers and outdoorsmen see Haida Gwaii as one of the best fishing destinations in Canada, and who can blame them?

Lac Seul, Ontario

Known for: Walleye, Northern Pike, Bass

When to visit: April–September

Click here to see regulations and licensing information.

It’s time to cast a line in the remote parts of southwestern Ontario, where both the number of lakes and the number of fish living in them are staggering. One of the biggest watersheds in the province is right here – Lac Seul. The name literally means “Lake Alone” which gives you an inkling of its atmosphere.

A view from the water of the Lac Seul shore

Lac Seul is one of the best fishing destinations in Canada thanks to its outstanding Walleye fishery. It covers around 240 kilometres and anywhere you go, your chance of landing Walleye are strong. This is another “Walleye Capital of the World,” and while subjective, the title fits well. The main reason these hard-fighting fellas thrive here is stained water, their preferred habitat.

But it’s not just Walleye you can catch in Lac Seul. Northern Pike and Muskellunge action is top-notch, both when it comes to quantity and the size of the fish. The east side of the lake is the best for targeting these bad boys.

A view of Lac Seul from the shore, with a bench between two tall trees

Another significant player are Smallmouth Bass, which can grow quite big here. What works to their advantage is the rocky bottom and plenty of underwater structures where they can hide. Lac Seul has its own set of fishing regulations, which you should know before you hit the water. This body of water is remote, huge, and stunning, but we’d recommend exploring it with a local who knows their way around, it will pay off.

St. Peters Bay, Prince Edward Island

Known for: Bluefin Tuna; Trout, Salmon

When to visit: June–October

Click here to see regulations and licensing information.

When you think of St. Peters Bay, you probably think of untouched nature, clear deep blue waters, and unforgettable views. You’re absolutely right! We’d like to add to this picture and talk about fishing opportunities that are as good as the scenery.

A view of the St. Peters Bay marina from the water

St. Peters Bay found its way to our list of best fishing destinations in Canada because it boasts easy access to both freshwater and saltwater fisheries of Prince Edward Island. You’ll find Morell River very close to the bay, chock-full of Trout and Atlantic Salmon. Steelhead and Brook Trout fishing is excellent here in late spring and summer. Trout and Salmon fishing is so popular that locals even named their yearly runs (Strawberry Run, Lilac Run, etc).

On the other side, you’ve got the productive waters of the Atlantic. For saltwater anglers on Prince Edward Island, it’s all about the almighty Bluefin Tuna. From July to October, there’s hardly a better place on the planet to battle giants that weigh from 100–1000+ pounds. This fishery is astounding and not to be missed if you’re an avid Tuna chaser.

A lighthouse on the shore of St. Peters Bay

If you’re coming to St. Peters Bay, you’ll have plenty to do. When you’re not on the water, you can go out and explore the Greenwich Dunes, or come just in time for the Blueberry Festival and Parade, for which the area is famous.

Dauphin Lake, Manitoba

Known for: Walleye

When to visit: Year-round

Click here to see regulations and licensing information.

Our final pick on the list takes us to the “Heart of Canada” aka Manitoba, and one of its many many prolific lakes – Dauphin Lake. This gorgeous watershed is the place to be, whether you like summer fishing or ice fishing followed by the nights vailed with Aurora Borealis. Some three and a half hours from the province’s capital, Winnipeg, lies Dauphin Lake, an unmissable fishery.

Dauphin Lake at night, with northern lights above the shores

The favorite species to target on Dauphin Lake are Walleye, first and foremost. Wherever you go on the lake, chances are you’ll have a few of these delicious fish on the line. Their appetite and feistiness are world-known, and you can catch one year-round. Ice fishing for Walleye is legendary on Dauphin Lake and a life-long tradition for locals in the surrounding towns.

Naturally, there are many fish swimming around in the lake, aside from this superstar. Northern Pike grow big here, and there are good numbers of Burbot, Yellow Perch, Freshwater Drum, Carp, and Smallmouth Bass. With seven tributaries, Lake Dauphin has both variety and quantity of fish up its proverbial sleeve.

Four men in caps, standing with trees behind them, holding Walleye and Pike they caught

Another perk of this destination is that it’s actually a recreation lake. When you’re not fishing, enjoy its clear waters and sandy beaches like Rainbow, Ochre, and Dauphin Beaches. The nearby town of Dauphin is one of the sunniest places in Canada and also the host of Dauphin Countryfest – the oldest country music festival in the country.

And the Fishing Adventure Continues…

A view from a deep blue lake surrounded by high mountains in Canada

There should be an entire encyclopedia dedicated to the best fishing destinations in Canada, but we’re not quite there yet. The best we can do is share this list of the spots you should check out in 2023. If Canada seems too far away, try something closer to home and check out charters close to you. The new year brings new opportunities, so why not try something completely different? Chances are, you’ll be happy you did.

What do you think of our 2023 list? Is any of the destinations on your personal list? Do you have a candidate for next year? Let’s talk in the comments.

Looking for even more options? Check out this article about the best fishing destinations in Canada for 2022.

The post 8 Best Fishing Destinations in Canada for 2023 appeared first on FishingBooker Blog.

By: Andriana
Title: 8 Best Fishing Destinations in Canada for 2023
Sourced From: fishingbooker.com/blog/best-fishing-canada/
Published Date: Thu, 29 Dec 2022 07:47:45 +0000

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