Bass Angler Magazine

Fishing in Canada: A Get-Started Guide

Freshwater fishing in Canada is certainly among the top activities for fishermen in North America. There are an estimated 3 million freshwater lakes and rivers (known as navigable waters) in the country, which provide excellent fishing from coast to coast. In Ontario, a good fisherman can catch walleye, small mouth and large mouth bass, northern pikes, large trout such as bull trout and other varieties of freshwater fish. World Fishing Network points out that a good fisherman can spot (and hopefully catch) the following:

fishing in Canda












  • Large mouth bass (Bay of Quinte, Ontario)
  • Giant white sturgeon (Fraser River, British Columbia)
  • Giant Atlantic salmon (Grand Cascapedia River, Quebec)
  • American shad fish (Annapolis River, Nova Scotia)
  • Trophy northern pike (Kesagami Lake, Ontario)

In the video below, you’ll see the Barlow brothers catching a few bull trouts in British Columbia. It’s a fun clip, and note how the narrator/cameraman talks about the awesome power of the Lyman plugs that the brothers are using. Let’s learn more about those and other tips to make your Canadian fishing excursion a memorable one, after the clip:

Fishing Plugs

The kind of plug (aka lures, minnow baits, crank baits and creatures) you use can make or break your fishing adventure. The reason plugs are important is in the way they capture the attention of the fish and provoke it to bite down for capture. The Lyman plugs are successful in catching fish, partially due to its wayward movements in the water. For freshwater fishing, a 4-inch Lyman plug is one of the most popular, as its size replicates the size of normal bait fish. The colors range from bright yellows and oranges to duller shades for cloudy fishing days.

Boating Regulations

If you plan on operating a powered vessel for your fishing expedition, secure a boating license first. Canada requires this of those who are operating watercraft fitted with a motor (like a small powered boat or other vessel) under four meters in length.

Province and Location

All of Canada’s provinces offer great fishing opportunities. Keep in mind the type of fishing you’re looking to do, and factor in budget, fishing species involved, transportation and more. Check on fishing websites for each specific province to get the best ideas of what to expect for a week-long fishing trip. For example, try outdoorcanada.ca for the types of fish you’re looking for, and then double check it against the province.

Province Regulations

Each province in Canada has certain province-wide regulations on fishing. In British Columbia, there are specific rules concerning certain waters that fishermen can or cannot fish. For example, here is a section from the current overview.

• Year-round closure for Goldstream and Little Qualicum Rivers, including its tributaries
• Removal of Englishman River fly-fishing only
• Amendments to no-fishing locations and times for these rivers: Nitinat, Puntledge and Big Qualicum
• Reginald Lake – Fishermen must use Trout Catch and release
• Somass River invokes different dates for bait bans

Stay on top of these types of local restrictions and regulations for a hassle-free fishing experience for you and your fellow anglers.

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