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If you thought that cold fronts mean the end of fishing, think again as winter slumber doesn’t apply to angling. Fish don’t hibernate and neither should you. So it’s high time you bundled up and hit one of many ice fishing destinations across the States. But where should you go?

Luckily, you won’t have to browse endlessly before you find your ideal location. Every year we post our favorite hotspots, and this year is no exception. We handpicked the best frozen fisheries in the US, just for you. From places that are on everyone’s radar to tucked-away gems, we included something for everyone. Scroll down and take a look at our 2023 picks.

Lake of the Woods, Oregon

It’s only fitting that we kick off our fishing journey with Oregon’s outdoor star – Lake of the Woods. This natural lake lies in Klamath County and spans 1000 acres. Crowned by towering forests, the lake is also blessed with a stunning view of the snow-capped Cascades. But besides the scenic setting, the lake is famous for its incredible fishing opportunities.

Lake of the Woods is home to a variety of fish species, but Trout, Crappie, Perch, Salmon, and Bass will be your main targets here. And don’t let the snow deceive you – the lake may seem serene while covered with ice, but these guys are very much active under it. Yellow Perch, in particular, are eager to bite. And when they do, they’ll keep you warm for sure.

Speaking of warming up, the area boasts numerous resorts and events that will rekindle your body and spirit. Nature lovers can keep on admiring the wildlife by bird watching. Families can spend some quality time ice skating. Meanwhile, those keen on having a cup of hot beverage in a cozy armchair can check in at one of many superb accommodations. Sounds tempting, doesn’t it?

Bonaparte Lake, Washington

Another popular ice fishing spot on the West Coast is Bonaparte Lake. This Washington retreat is nestled at the foot of Bonaparte Mountain and is surrounded by thick evergreen trees. This lush nature matches the lake’s vibrant underwater world. As such, Bonaparte Lake is your idyllic and prolific ice fishing destination.

A beautiful sunset view of an angler sitting and ice fishing on the frozen lake

Bonaparte Lake is a reliable winter fishery as it produces safe ice fishing conditions and a continuous flow of catches. The most commonly caught species are Brook Trout, Kokanee, Lake Trout, Smallmouth Bass, Rainbow Trout, and Tiger Trout. But Tiger Trout holds a special place in Bonaparte Lake’s heart because the state record was landed here.

If you opt for Bonaparte Lake as your ice fishing corner, prepare for an “unplugged” experience. Visiting this remote oasis means reconnecting with nature by skate skiing and enjoying your stay in the rustic wooden cabins. Plus, nothing screams winter delight more than miles of breathtaking Sno-Park trails. So, should you decide to explore Bonaparte Lake, you’ll be in for a treat.

Henry’s Lake, Idaho

The Northwest brings us to our next ice fishing heaven – Henry’s Lake. The surprising catch rates and equally inspiring catches brought our attention to this Idaho beauty. Come in mid-November and you’ll witness avid ice fishing enthusiasts gradually populating the lake. Not even a north breeze and sub-zero temperatures can stop them from trying their luck at landing trophy fish.

A photo of a kid holding a small rod and bait and squatting on a frozen lake next to a red ice auger

It’s true – the prize catch is on everyone’s radar and it’s none other than Trout. Henry’s Lake is a renowned Cutthroat and Brook Trout fishery. Highly regarded in the angling circles and recommended by Idaho Fish and Game, Henry’s Lake is a must-see ice fishing destination in the US this winter. It’s one of the first waters to cap over in Idaho and it yields the largest Trout. What else could you wish for?

Maybe more snow-related adventures? Hockey, ice skating, skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling are among the beloved activities you can do in the nearby city of Idaho Falls. The town will welcome you with its local hospitality and traditional food, so feel free to stop by after a long day of ice fishing on Henry’s Lake.

Sheridan Lake, South Dakota

Moving closer to the Midwest, you’ll reach South Dakota’s pride and joy – the Black Hills National Forest. Roam through its thick greenery and you’ll discover the forests’ well-guarded treasure – Sheridan Lake. There’s no doubt that you’ll fall in love with the lake at first sight. But there’s more to this ice fishing destination than meets the eye.

A beautiful sunset view of Lake Sheridan in the fog

While the lake’s beauty is captivating, its underwater world is even more fascinating. There’s a reason we called the lake a treasure. Did you know that Sheridan Lake was once a thriving gold mining camp? It’s true, the entire town resides in its depths now. Think about that the next time you visit the lake. Or, perhaps focus on its underwater residents instead.

These waters are teeming with life. The lake is widely famous for its angling opportunities. Ice fishing promises decent Pike, Perch, and Trout bites. And even if you don’t land a prize catch, you won’t end up empty-handed. So, be it an odd history lesson or a cool ice fishing session, Sheridan Lake is your golden ticket to a memorable winter vacation in South Dakota.

Lake of the Woods, Minnesota

“Wait, didn’t I read about Lake of the Woods a bit earlier?” Guilty as charged – we simply couldn’t resist including one more in this year’s list. But this time we will take you to the place where Manitoba, Ontario, and Minnesota meet. Gear up because the northwest part of Minnesota guarantees a one-of-a-kind ice fishing adventure.

A sunset view of the frozen Lake of the Woods in Minnesota populated with ice shanties

Only topped by the Great Lakes, Lake of the Woods is a major player and a proud owner of more than 300,000 acres of water in the United States. Massive and impressive, the lake is your ultimate ice fishing playground. Come winter, the lake becomes dotted with shanties and passionate fishos. Many opt for overnight camping and sleepless nights at skid houses, too.

All that is to try their luck at reeling in the mighty three – Walleye, Northern Pike, and Sauger. While Pike and Sauger receive attention, Walleye always steal the spotlight. So when in Rome, do as the Romans do and go after that trophy Walleye. Oh, and don’t forget to regale yourself with refreshments from the nearby Zippel Bay Resort’s igloo bar.

Boom Lake, Wisconsin

Our next ice fishing destination comes aptly named. Boom Lake has an appropriately booming offer of fish species. While the lake itself isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of angling in Wisconsin, we promise it won’t disappoint. As a flowage of the Wisconsin River, Boom Lake promises action-packed encounters with some of the most prominent freshwater celebrities in the world. Scroll down, and check out what awaits under the ice.

A photo of an angler standing on a frozen lake and holding big Pike

Seasoned anglers will tell you not to settle for anything less than brag-worthy catches. Fortunately, you won’t have to. Boom Lake is abundant in Panfish, but it’s also home to top-tier fighters such as Musky, Pike, and Walleye. Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass aren’t lagging far behind either. So, dancing with the stars is guaranteed.

Unlike some secluded fisheries, Boom Lake’s location makes it convenient for you to go on an ice fishing adventure with your little ones. Located only a 10-minute drive from the Rhinelander‘s downtown, Boom Lake is perfect for a family trip. Rhinelander, also known as the “Ice Fishing Capital of the World,” will cater to your needs. Whether it’s recharging in one of the town’s many diners and cafes or casting in its waters, Rhinelander and its Boom Lake are the places to be.

Shores and Islands, Ohio

With Lake Erie at its doorstep, our next hotspot practically doesn’t need any introduction. Even though it may be freezing cold outside, Shores and Islands and Lake Erie are all about keeping you toasty. So, if you want to spice up your ice fishing experience, consider Shores and Islands as your next lakeside getaway.

A photo of an angler holding Walleye with both his hands while standing on a frozen lake

Lake Erie is a colossal body of water spanning six million acres. It seems almost impossible that the 13th-largest lake in the world can freeze. But for almost three months, it’s rock solid and offers incredible ice fishing. Known as the “Walleye Capital of the World,” this fishery is the Walleye kingdom in every sense. Besides the royals, expect to cross paths with Bass, Trout, Pike, and Perch.

The area between Kelleys and South Bass Islands is considered to be quite prolific. But venturing further from the shore might require the expertise of the local guides. So, if you’re fishing on your own, you might want to stay closer to the mainland. Plus, staying closer to the coast has its perks. You can easily grab something to eat and drink after a productive day of angling.

Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire

If you find yourself roaming around the East Coast, don’t miss out on the opportunity to visit New Hampshire. Thanks to its lavish and unspoiled nature, the state earned the nickname “Switzerland of America.” This speaks volumes about the state’s natural wonders. But one Eden-like place sets itself apart from the rest because of its picturesque beauty – Lake Winnipesaukee.

A distant view of two shanties on the frozen Lake Winnipesaukee during the ice fishing season in New Hampshire

Lake Winnipesaukee is the largest lake in the state of New Hampshire and as such, is a go-to destination for recreational angling. Ice fishing is particularly popular. And how could it not be when Rainbow Trout, White Perch, and Lake Trout can grace the end of your line? The lake typically freezes in January and it’s safe for ice fishing until April.

The peak of the ice fishing season on Lake Winnipesaukee begins with the annual Great Meredith Rotary Ice Fishing Derby in February. This weekend-long event promises entertainment for the entire family. Regardless of whether you’re an avid angler or a curious kid, there’s something for everyone. Valuable prizes, too! So, go ahead and break the ice in style on Lake Winnipesaukee.

Moosehead Lake, Maine

We end our 2023 ice fishing journey on the East Coast with none other than Maine and its Moosehead Lake. Moosehead Lake is our repeat offender – we’ve featured it as both a summer and winter angling paradise before. We can’t help that the lake is a fishing hotspot! You’ll forgive us that the last location on the list doesn’t come as a surprise, but you really can’t go wrong with Moosehead Lake as your ice fishing vacation destination.

A sunset view of the frozen lake and ice fishing equipment placed above the hole

Moosehead Lake is the largest lake in Maine and as such it boasts enviable fishing opportunities. This elevated oasis is home to a variety of fish species with Brook Trout, Cusk, Salmon, and Togue being the most popular ones. Togue are cherished ice fishing targets around here and the annual Moosehead Lake Togue Derby just testifies to that fact.

Besides this three-day ice fishing frenzy, Moosehead Lake offers a number of snow-inspired activities. Snowshoeing and snowmobiling are among the most common pastimes. But if you’re really up for a challenge, enroll in Moosehead Pinnacle Pursuit and brag about summiting not one, not two, but six peaks! All in all, it’s obvious that Moosehead Lake has a lot in store for you this winter.

Ice Fishing Destinations in the US: Need More Ice with That?

A photo of an angler holding Walleye with both hands while posing on the frozen lake against ice fishing tent and equipment in the background

Of course, there’s always more! The US is blessed with ice fishing destinations and no single article can name them all. But we can always make a list of the best ones every year so that you can focus on exploring those fisheries before moving to the next batch. Isn’t it more fun that way? If you’re hooked on the idea to fish on one or more lakes from this list, grab your stuff and book your 2023 ice fishing adventure now!

One last reminder before you hit the frozen lake – don’t forget that safety comes first. Ice isn’t the same everywhere and weather may be unpredictable from time to time, so always double-check the conditions and make sure that odds are in your favor. Better safe than sorry, right? Tight lines!

Have you ever been ice fishing to any of the places we mentioned above? Where will you be angling this winter season? Hit the button below and share your ice fishing plans with us!

If you end up craving even more ice fishing corners, take a look at our last year’s list, too.

The post The 9 Best US Ice Fishing Destinations for 2023 appeared first on FishingBooker Blog.

By: Tanya
Title: The 9 Best US Ice Fishing Destinations for 2023
Sourced From: fishingbooker.com/blog/ice-fishing-destinations/
Published Date: Wed, 28 Dec 2022 09:51:09 +0000

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Wilmington Fishing Guide

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Wilmington isn’t just an idyllic city or sightseeing treat on the Atlantic coast. Simply put, it’s an amazing fishery: from freshwater to backwater, from inshore to offshore, fishing in Wilmington is a year-round pleasure. Nestled in New Hanover County, along coastal southeastern North Carolina, it gives easy access to the deep Atlantic waters and the beautiful Cape Fear River.

In this article, we’ll talk about the stellar angling opportunities Wilmington has to offer. You’ll learn about the top catches and where to find them, as well as what types of fishing to try and when. So, without further ado…

What can I catch while fishing in Wilmington?

The short answer is anything from Redfish and Striped Bass to Amberjack and even Billfish. Since Wilmington is blessed with diversity, anglers can fish both the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean over the course of just one weekend. That is if the season allows.

That said, it makes perfect sense that the list of potential catches depends on where and when you’re planning to fish. In general, you can expect a nice selection of Bass, including Stripers and even Largemouth, along with Seatrout, Flounder, and Black Drum in the inshore waters. As you move to the nearshore waters and beyond, you can expect bigger fish. Amberjack, King and Spanish Mackerel, Sharks, and Mahi Mahi are all on the cards.

We won’t list all the available fish species you can catch in Wilmington, though. Instead, let’s focus on the top catches the area has to offer.

Redfish

Three male angler, all smiling and holding a Redfish each while standing on a fishing boat in Wilmington, NC

North Carolina’s mainland is protected by a large number of barrier islands. This, in turn, creates a perfect habitat for various inshore species, including Redfish. In fact, they are the state’s official saltwater fish!

While fishing for Wilmington Redfish is available all year round, spring is the best time to catch them, as they tail their favorite baitfish. Anglers target Reds by throwing topwater plugs while sight casting in the estuaries. In the lower Cape Fear River, locals prefer to use jerk baits and topwaters to attract hungry Redfish.

Cape Fear River and estuaries aside, you can also find Redfish during high-tide periods at oyster rock beds and near marsh grasses. If you’re fishing during low tide, search for Reds around the edges of creek channels and around docks.

Flounder

Two happy smiling anglers standing on a boat, posing for a picture with a freshly caught Flounder, Wilmington, NC

Wilmington anglers are also blessed with good Flounder populations. They fish for the “Doormats” around deep holes near structure such as bridges, aiming at larger fish in 15-20 feet of water. In fact, a lot of Wilmington anglers fish for Flounder in deeper water, heading to various wrecks and the so-called “Flounder Hotels” – big cement domes with holes in them.

Flounder bite best anytime from May through November, peaking from July until September. Just like with Redfish, your success might heavily depend on the right tide. Some anglers fish a falling tide, while other Flounder enthusiasts fish a rising tide for better visibility. The majority of Wilmington Flounder fishing is conventional with either live bait or artificial.

Cobia

A picture showing a smiling angler holding a freshly caught Cobia while standing on a boat, Wilmington, NC

By late spring, the first wave of Cobia, a world-class saltwater game fish, comes within sight of the Wilmington area. This is when anglers head to the inlets and nearshore reefs, looking for these fish in up to 45 feet of water. May and June are considered the best months for Cobia fishing in Wilmington, although they usually stay through fall.

Cobia aren’t really scared of boats, but it doesn’t make catching them any easier. Local anglers make sure their presentation and retrieve are as life-like as possible, using heavy-duty rods and strong lines. You can present artificial lures, such as soft plastics, in the path of the cruising fish to maximize your chances.

Note that there’s a creel limit that you need to check in advance. We recommend consulting with your captain on what’s the daily bag and size limit of any fish you intend to keep, including Cobia.

Mahi Mahi

An angler on a fishing boat holding a Mahi Mahi in Wilmington, NC

It’s hard to imagine a more iconic nearshore and offshore species in Wilmington than Mahi Mahi. These gorgeous fish are fun to catch whenever they’re available, and luckily, they’re around pretty much throughout the year. However, the high season for Mahi Mahi in Wilmington begins somewhere around June and goes all the way through August.

The best part about fishing for Mahi is that you can find them pretty close to shore since they tend to venture closer to land in cleaner water. In summer, they can be found within sight of the beach, breaking away from the Gulf Stream.

Some local anglers rely on thermal charts, looking for eddies and rips. It’s common to use trolling spreads while hunting for Mahi Mahi, which usually includes ballyhoo and small lures.

King and Spanish Mackerel

Two happy anglers holding a King Mackerel each caught during an annual King Mackerel run, the Wilmington area, NC

Last but not least, King and Spanish Mackerel are among the most popular saltwater catches in Wilmington. These fish are also found pretty close to shore, and anglers often catch them while hunting for Mahi Mahi or Albacore Tuna.

Overall, September and October are the best months to target King Mackerel in Wilmington, but you can have a productive trip anytime from June. Spanish Mackerel bite best from May until August, so you can book a summer trip to target them both.

So, where can you go fishing for Kingfish and Spanish Mackerel? A lot of Wilmington anglers prefer looking for them around artificial reefs and wrecks, although they can be found throughout the nearshore waters.

Where can I go fishing in Wilmington?

While Wilmington might not be close to the continental drop-off, local and visiting anglers have a generous selection of both freshwater and saltwater game fish. In this section, we’ll outline the best spots for you to explore on a Wilmington fishing trip.

Cape Fear River

An angler holding a Bass caught in Cape Fear River.

Cape Fear River is a spectacular angling playground that empties right into the Atlantic Ocean. The Wilmington portion of the river is especially known for its Striped Bass fishing in the winter and early spring, although you can get your hands on various other fish species. These include Catfish, Flounder, Sturgeon, Crappie, and everything in between.

The river’s ecosystem is so diverse due to its brackish water. Tidal saltwater combines with inland-flowing freshwater, creating a perfect mixed salinity. A lot of light tackle anglers enjoy Cape Fear River for its action, though you shouldn’t take it lightly. It’s always a good idea to explore the river with a local guide who knows its tides and winds well.

Masonboro Inlet and Inshore Spots

Aerial view of the Masonboro Inlet near Wrightsville Beach, NC

Masonboro Inlet is a great place for those anglers looking to establish themselves. The waters of the inlet are rich and productive, especially towards Wrightsville and Carolina Beach. Black Drum and Redfish are among the most popular catches that are available all year round, especially in the fall.

The Masonboro Inlet and the oceanfront spots have many channels, small bays, inlets, and cuts that offer good fishing. If Redfish and Black Drum aren’t your main priority, you can check out creeks and salt marshes for Flounder. Alternatively, areas around jetties, backwater, and rock walls are known for good Spotted Seatrout bite.

Nearshore

A picture showing a male angler with a freshly caught Tuna, while sitting on a fishing boat.

River, inshore, and inlet spots aside, nearshore fishing in Wilmington is just as good. The waters by the shore are home to various artificial reefs and shipwrecks. There, you can test your angling skills and practice trolling or bottom fishing, depending on what fish are biting best.

These reefs and wrecks hold solid numbers of anything from Albacore Tuna and King Mackerel to big Groupers. Bottom fishing enthusiasts can also target Black Seabass, Snapper, and Triggerfish, along with other species.

Offshore

Two fishing boats with male anglers fishing, the Wilmington area, NC

The offshore grounds off Wilmington are also rich in reefs and wrecks. To get to these grounds, you’ll need to travel anywhere between 20 to 40 miles out, but the reward is worth it. These waters see schools of large Mahi Mahi, along with Sailfish and Tuna.

From Wilmington, it only takes a short boat ride to reach the Gulf Stream. It runs up and down the coastline, flowing about 20 miles offshore. This means that within an hour’s boat ride you can be fishing rive above a major drop-off, where the Continental Shelf plunges to 600 feet. For instance, you can explore the Outer Shell Reefs that hold a healthy stock of Tilefish and Snowy Grouper.

Fishing Piers

Aerial View of Johnny Mercer's Pier in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

If you’re in town and are just looking to wet a line, you can check out one of the area’s fishing piers. Johnnie Mercer’s Pier is a good spot for those who don’t want to fish from a boat. It’s a concrete pier, built to be storm- and hurricane-proof.

Summer pier fishing can be especially productive. For example, anglers usually catch impressive numbers of Mackerel, Pompano, Sheepshead, and Flounder while fishing from Johnnie Mercer’s Pier. And if that’s not enough, there are also three island beaches if you’d like to widen your fishing experience.

How can I go fishing in Wilmington?

Three male anglers on a boat, all wearing sunglasses, one of them posing with a Mahi Mahi.

Wilmington has a fine selection of fishing techniques for you to enjoy. The best fishing method depends on a variety of factors, including the targeted species, the spot you’re fishing in, and seasonality.

Light tackle is a good method while fishing Cape Fear River and the inshore grounds for the likes of Redfish and Black Drum. It’s also productive in estuarine waterways, creeks, sounds, and inlets. If you’re working skinnier water, you can also try sight fishing.

Trolling is the technique of choice for saltwater anglers looking to land anything from Mahi Mahi, Spanish Mackerel, and Seabass, to Tuna and Bluefish. Some anglers go for kite fishing when targeting Sailfish, which is a variant of trolling that includes using kites above the surface of the water.

Bottom fishing is another effective way to get big fish in Wilmington. That technique is reserved for various types of Groupers, Amberjack, and Black Seabass. You’ll get the bait all the way down near offshore wrecks, using heavy tackle for Amberjacks, and electric reels for Tilefish. Electric reels are heavy-duty gear that’s reserved for deep dropping the bait at 100+ feet.

Fishing in Wilmington F.A.Qs

Do I need a license to fish in Wilmington?
  • The majority of Wilmington fishing charters provide licenses for every angler on board, especially when you’re fishing on a bigger boat. When fishing by yourself, you’ll need to get a NC fishing license if you’re over the age of 16. Additionally, everybody can fish without a license on the 4th of July.
Are there any fishing tournaments in Wilmington?
  • Yes! There are various fishing tournaments in Wilmington, including the Carolina Beach Inshore Challenge held in the city and the Pleasure Island Spring Surf Fishing Challenge in the neighboring Carolina Beach.
Is fly fishing popular in Wilmington?
  • You can try fly fishing whenever you want, although this technique isn’t all that popular in Wilmington.

Fishing in Wilmington: Real Old World Charm

Three smiling male anglers on a fishing dock posing with their haul of the day.

Home to wide Cape Fear River waters, hidden creeks, and a beautiful shoreline, Wilmington can easily spoil any angler that visits the city. Fishing in Wilmington is all about options when it comes to casting a line. There’s lots to entice anglers to pay this city a visit as well as everything an angler needs to reel in a great catch or two. So, why not take advantage of Wilmington’s diverse fisheries yourself? If you are interested in booking a fishing charter in Wilmington NC contact Reel Zinger Fishing Charters of Wilmington

Have you ever been fishing in Wilmington? Whttps://reelzingerfishingcharters.com/fishing-charters-wilmington-nc-28403/hat’s your favorite species to catch in the Cape
Fear River? What about the best spots along the ocean shoreline? Let us know in the comments below!

The post Wilmington Fishing: The Complete Guide appeared first on FishingBooker Blog.

 

By: Lisa
Title: Wilmington Fishing: The Complete Guide
Sourced From: fishingbooker.com/blog/wilmington-fishing/
Published Date: Sat, 24 Dec 2022 06:54:44 +0000

 

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Country Cub: A DIY Honda CT125 kit from K-Speed

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It’s just a couple of days to Christmas—and if you still don’t know what to get yourself, maybe a kit to transform your Honda CT125 is the answer. After all, it’s been a long 365 days, and to be honest, you deserve it.

The Honda CT125 Hunter Cub is cute AF out the box, but if anyone knows how to mod the absolute daylights out of it, it’s K-Speed. This time around, they’ve used the CT125 as a test bed to develop a set of bolt-on parts, so that you can do it yourself. The only thing K-Speed doesn’t supply, are a few festive bevande to consume while you assemble your steezy steed.

The transformation starts up front, with a K-Speed-designed fender and fender lift kit. This provides the necessary clearance for all the mud-slinging you’re definitely going to be doing with this thing. The fenders are available in different colors to match the CT125’s OEM colorways, and the lift kit can work with the stock fender too.

The headlight cover is included in the kit, as is the metal luggage carrier that sits above it. It’s the perfect place to stack firewood or a bag of ice for overnight camping trips. The original speedo has been relocated to the side to make room for the rack.

Custom Honda CT125 kit by K-SpeedRead More

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By: Ben Pilatti
Title: Country Cub: A DIY Honda CT125 kit from K-Speed
Sourced From: www.bikeexif.com/honda-ct125-custom-kit
Published Date: Thu, 22 Dec 2022 17:01:22 +0000

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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.

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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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