Sport Fishing

A man with a big fish in his hands

Dip your feet in the water, listen to the birdsong and enjoy the magical atmosphere that is created when you cast your line. Considered one of the oldest sports and an effective treatment for stress, sport fishing is a real treat for the soul.

Let’s define sport fishing

Sport fishing is a type of fishing where the objective is the pleasure of the practice. For example, it aims to catch the largest fish possible or the largest number of fish in a limited time. It usually requires expensive equipment (rods, reels, lures, line, boat, and on-board electronics), experience, and good physical condition.

This type of fishing follows a “sporting spirit”: a form of respect for the opponent (the fish), respect for the rules, the law, and the competition environment, etc. It is usual, when the fishing technique allows it, that the caught fish is released.

It should not be forgotten either that sport is a way of pushing one’s limits, both physical and mental, or what could be harder mentally than knowing that the fish is there and not being able to make it bite!

This is where sport fishing often comes into its own: being able to catch fish in any condition and with regularity.

It will be necessary to spend a lot of time at the water’s edge, to think, to read (and yes we learn a lot in the articles). It will also be necessary to spend time to train to try techniques or equipment, to understand the behaviour of the targeted fish, its way of placing itself according to the seasons, its food….

Fishing in Canada

The evolution of equipment

Nowadays, the new technologies available to the angler, as in any sport, allow him to be much more precise and efficient in his fishing.

The equipment has evolved impressively over the last 20 years, both for small equipment (rods, reels, lures, etc.) and for electronics.

All of these advances have led to new ways of fishing by allowing a better understanding of the behaviour of fish and thus to follow them and to move from passive to much more active fishing.

These various tools are mainly there to help the fisherman but it is still necessary to understand how to use them and not to forget the functioning of the natural environment.

Fishing rod set

The history of sport fishing

The origins of sport fishing go back to the arrival of the English, who are unanimously recognized as the true inventors of this practice in the West. It is considered a leisure activity practised exclusively by elite who could afford to have contact with what the wilderness had to offer and thus contemplate the rivers and white waters. On the other hand, early accounts of fishing show that it is more than a sport. It is represented as a new value as a culture that spread throughout the country and was influenced in some way by the romantic thinking that had a large impact on artistic and social life in the West.

The sports fisherman is presented as a high-ranking military major or superintendent in the British army service, specialists in the field with key training and a normal salary that places them among the privileged members of society.

For at least 300 years, fly-fishing was associated with the more privileged social categories of British society, such as golf, tea, and whisky, making it a deeply respected activity. With the rapid growth of cities in the 19th century, the deterioration of living standards, and the vulnerability to epidemics, a feeling began to develop among urbanites to seek fresh air, open spaces, and a way out of the chaos.

A man is fishing in a river in Canada.

Fishing Licences

How to obtain a fishing licence in Canada?

You should be 18 years of age or older or under 65 years of age.

Before you can start fishing, you will need:

⦁ an Outdoors Card (plastic ID card, valid for three calendar years), and;
⦁ a fishing licence (valid for one or three calendar years).

A fishing licence can be either:

⦁ ecological (reduced catch limits);
⦁ sport (normal catch limits).

Recreational Fishing Regulations

In Canada, the federal government, the provinces, and the territories share the management of recreational fisheries. Roles vary among the provinces and territories, but in general, the federal government manages all marine species, with the exception of anadromous and catadromous species in inland waters in some regions. Provinces and territories manage freshwater species, with the exception of salmon in British Columbia.

British Columbia

British Columbia flag


  • My Wild Alberta - Information for anglers, hunters, and trappers
Alberta flag


  • Angling - Residents and visitors
  • Treaty and Aboriginal Hunting and Fishing Rights
Saskatchewan flag


  • Fish and Wildlife
Manitoba flag


  • Fish and Wildlife: Hunting and Fishing in Ontario
Ontario flag


  • Recreational Fisheries (DFO)
  • Sport Fishing in Quebec, Main Rules
Quebec flag

New Brunswick

  • Natural Resources - Fisheries
New Brunswick flag

Nova Scotia

  • Sportfishing (English only)
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Fisheries and communities
British Columbia flag

Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Angler's Guide (DFO)
  • Recreational Groundfish Fishing (DFO)
Newfoundland and Labrador flag


  • Yukon Salmon Fishery (DFO)
Yukon flag