Freshwater Fish in Canada

Without exception, Canada is the prime destination for the very best in sport fishing. We’re home to the true anglers, whether their passion is trolling, casting or fly-fishing – and the trophy catches are the reason! In the Canadian territories and provinces, you’ll find:

  Arctic Char

Arctic Charr
Fresh and saltwater Arctic char are found in tributaries of the Arctic Ocean, including the Tree River and Victoria Island. This great-tasting fish is a relative of the lake trout and often weigh-in at over 20 lbs.

Arctic Grayling

Arctic Grayling
Arctic Grayling are found in the clear cold lakes and rivers of northern Canada, primarily north of the 55th parallel. You’ll find this beautiful and delicate fish in rapids and along rocky shoreline hitting tiny spoons and inline spinners. The Grayling’s supersized dorsal fin makes it one of the hardest fighting fish in the planet. Trophy Grayling start at 18 to 20 inches.

Atlantic Salmon

Atlantic Salmon
Reaching up to 35 lbs., trophy Atlantic salmon are said to be the hardest fighting fish in the world (though muskie and smallmouth anglers may disagree.) Atlantic salmon are found seasonally in the tributaries that feed the Atlantic Ocean.

 

Brook Trout

Brook Trout
The smallest of the stream/river trout, brook trout reach up to 7 lbs. in the remote parts of Canada. Highly prized for its brilliant colors and hard fight, brook trout are popular with fly fishing enthusiasts.

Brown Trout

Brown Trout
Brown trout are fairly common in slow Canadian streams along foothills. The brown trout is now an important species in sport fishing, as they readily adapt to areas where the smaller brook trout struggle to survive.

Cutthroat Trout

Cutthroat Trout
Named for the bright red-orange streak in the fold under the mouth, cutthroat trout are native to the mountain and foothill streams of southern British Columbia and Alberta. Cutthroats prefer colder water than do the closely related rainbow trout, and spawn in the spring. They’re generally caught on artificial flies, small spoons and spinners.

Dolly Varden

Dolly Varden

Dolly Varden, or bull trout, are highly prized by fly-fishing enthusiasts. Terrific fighters, Dollys strike readily at nearly anything offered, from tackle to natural baits. During the spring, try small spinning lures in lake outlet streams. Coastal streams in August and September can produce excellent fishing for those using spinning lures or a single salmon egg bounced along the bottom.

Halibut

Halibut

Halibut are among the largest fish in the Pacific Northwest off British Columbia and the largest of all the flatfish. They can grow to more than 8 ft long and 700 lbs. Locals call Halibut weighing in at more than 100 pounds “Whales”, “Soakers”, or even “Barn Doors”, while smaller halibut, less than 20 pounds, are often called “Chickens”. The largest halibut ever caught while sport fishing was 459 lbs and some have been known to live up to 40 years.. Halibut are caught by jigging live bait off the ocean bottom and are prized for its delicate sweet flavor, snow-white color and firm flaky meat.

Lake Trout

Lake Trout
Right at home in clear, cold waters, lake trout are a favorite game fish of the Canadian sport angler. Fishermen who pursue lake trout in the southern part of Canada do so in the spring and fall, when they can be targeted in shallower water. Elsewhere, the trout are caught either by trolling, or by casting spoons and vertical jigging over deep water.

Muskellunge

Muskellunge
Canada has some of the top musky lakes in the world and it is not uncommon to catch several per day. Ontario is their primary home, where they are prevalent in the Lake of the Woods, Eagle Lake, Lac Seul and the Georgian Bay area of Lake Huron, as well as smaller, deep, clear cold lakes across the province. Musky fishing is almost exclusively catch-and-release in Canada.

Northern Pike

Northern Pike
Northern pike inhabit almost every type of Canadian freshwater, from cold, deep lakes, to warm, shallow ponds, to muddy rivers. Northerns are an aggressive, solitary fish, popular for sport angling due to the fact they will bite at any time of day. Find them in large, healthy cabbage beds using spoons, spinners and bucktails. In the warmest parts of the summer, trophy pike can be found by trolling large crank baits over lake structure.

Rainbow Trout

Rainbow Trout
This trout is an olive-green color with heavy black spotting over the length of the body. The adult fish has a red-colored stripe along the lateral line, from the gills to the tail. Rainbow trout in lakes are usually lighter colored or a more silvery color than those in streams.

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass thrive in the cold, structure-rich waters of Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and southern Manitoba — Rainy Lake, Lake of the Woods, Eagle Lake and others. Almost all Canadian smallmouth bass fishing is catch and release.

Stream Trout

Brook Trout
For the purpose of helping you plan an adventure, Fishulo,llc uses the term stream trout to clearly identify how you wish to pursuit brook, rainbow (cutthroat or steelhead) brown, even lake trout; as well as dolly varden, arctic char, and arctic grayling. In general, stream and river fishing in Canada, for all these species provide trophy opportunities in pristine and remote areas.

Sturgeon

Sturgeon
The largest, most powerful fish in North American inland waters, sturgeon spend the majority of their time in estuaries of clean rivers with moderate currents along the Pacific coast and in the entry-points of coastal rivers to spawn. The best baits are cut fish, shrimp, and large clusters of nightcrawlers.

Walleye

Walleye
Walleye are Canada’s number one game fish and are abundant in lakes and rivers throughout the country. The best strategy to catch walleye in Canada is to backtroll a spinner and bottom-bouncer to cover large areas, and once walleye are found, to fish with jig and minnow.

 

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