Access to freshwater and saltwater resources offers anglers in Atlantic Canada extensive opportunities. From tasty panfish like white perch to fearsome mako sharks, the region offers fishing in every season and for all skill and income levels. Cast a spoon for mackerel from a public wharf in Nova Scotia or a fly over the fabled Atlantic salmon rivers of New Brunswick or Newfoundland & Labrador. For those who refuse to case their rods when the water gets hard, ice fishing for a variety of species exists in all provinces.
A trophy-sized catch can come from luck or persistence. North America’s largest sea-run brown trout are found in a few tidal streams on Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula and the outsized brook trout of Labrador are world-famous. Searching for a monster striped bass or sturgeon, visit New Brunswick’s lower Saint John river. Nova Scotia boasts the region’s most accessible American shad runs and largest eastern chain pickerel while the smallest province, Prince Edward Island, is the gateway to hunting for our largest species, giant bluefin tuna.
Trout are an angling favourite and Atlantic Canada offers a dazzling variety of possibilities. Haunt the limited number of streams open for night fishing in search of photophobic brown trout or kick off your shoes and wade sandy estuaries for sea-run brookies or rainbows. Drop a worm or fly into the water beside almost any PEI culvert and watch a speckled beauty flash to snatch it. Or, troll one of our thousands of trout lakes to join what is for many a springtime ritual.
New Brunswick Sportfishing – A Hidden Gem
by Jason Gogan
If I had to think of a word to sum up New Brunswick’s sportsfishing, it would have to be “underutilized”. For years, New Brunswick has been recognized as a world renown destination for Atlantic salmon on the mighty Miramichi River. People come from all over the world to fish our famous Salmon but they are literally missing the boat on an untouched, multi-species fishing resources that New Brunswick waters have to offer.
Our Musky fishery for example has been featured on television shows including Extreme Fishing and Fishful Thinking with Charlie Wray and it’s been written that the St. John River system has the potential to produce a world fish. In 2010 an extremely “girthy” 51 inch by 30 inch musky was found dead. It is estimated live weight was 60 pounds. Several studies have been undertaken by the New Brunswick chapter of Muskies Canada that have noted that our fish are usually 10-12% heavier than fish from other areas in Canada. Keep an eye on our musky fishery, it could land someone the next world record!
If you’re looking for big fish and nonstop action then we have your next fishing adventure with our stripers. From mid-May until the end of June we have a school of stripers that is estimated to be over 200,000 fish ranging from 5 to 35 pounds. It’s not uncommon to enjoy a 100 plus fish per day on the water. But if you can’t make it in the spring don’t worry, you can enjoy a second run of stripers in the fall, plus our foliage is spectacular! While school is smaller the fish are bigger, often weighing in excess of 35 pounds.
Now, for the fish that is near and dear to my heart. Smallmouth bass are pound for pound the strongest fighting fish and won’t let you down! They average 2 ½-3 pounds in weight with much bigger four and five pound fish swimming in the same water.
If you’re planning a fishing trip, please consider my beautiful province, New Brunswick. Your next fish of a lifetime is just a cast away!
Paul Marriner is an author and outdoor writer living in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia. He has published eight books and hundreds of articles about fishing, predominantly fly fishing. His publishing company, Gales End Press, is on the web at www.galesendpress.com and facebook at www.facebook.com/GalesEndPress.
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