This sport began as a way of catching food, and though it has become a sport, and it's one where you eat what you win (except for "catch & release" fishing)! The concept behind fishing is that you attach either bait or a lure to a line attached to a fishing rod, and the fish will eventually (hopefully) think its food, swallow the bait, get hooked, and you get to reel the fish in. Fishing is a relaxing sport (and requires or teaches patience), helps you to unwind, and you can enjoy your natural surroundings--at least until a fish bites.
Fishing can be done from shore, from a pier, or from a boat. The choice will depend on where you are and what kind of fish you are seeking. Once you have picked a sport, you need to select your tackle, either using bait on a hook or a lure. After attaching it to your line, you need to place the bait where you think the fish are. This is called casting, and is done by extending the line a bit and flicking the rod behind you and then forward to use inertia to get the tackle far out into the water. You then reel in the tackle, trying to mimic the movements of the animal your bait is trying to mimic.
Another popular variant on fishing is ice fishing, where you fish through a hole in the ice (often protected by a heated hut or a tent). This usually uses a shorter rod, and is popular in many parts of the country where longer winters create thick ice giving access to deepwater fishing spots to all.
It is considered sportsmanlike practice to keep only those fish you plan to eat. Return the rest for others to catch. Please respect the environment, by not littering, and by not being overly noisy. You should also make sure you comply with provincial regulations regarding fishing seasons, required permits (more on this later)
In order to go fishing you need a rod & reel and some basic tackle. There are several kinds of rod & reel for either spincasting (best for beginners) or for fly fishing. You can buy these separately, or in combination. You need to select your line to suit your fish and your rod & reel, though today monofilament made of a single strand of plastic is most prevalent. The "terminal tackle" at the fish catching end of the line may include any of a number of elements: the hook for bait or a lure, a snap swivel (particularly when using spinning lures), a sinker (to hold the hook down), a bobber (to keep it up, say above weeds). You will also need a tackle box, needlenose pliers, nail clippers, a bucket, a net (for landing the caught fish), and optionally a camera.
The choice of bait or lures depends on what you're fishing for, the time of year, your fishing philosophy, and sometimes local rules. Typical live bait includes earthworms, minnows and assorted garden "crawlers." Lures tend to be more expensive, but present several advantages: they are durable, you can pre-pack a variety to suit any fishing excursion and they are heavier making it easier to cast in windy conditions. Some of the accessories to help make your fishing trip safer and more fun include: hats (for shade), sunscreen, insect repellent, life jackets (absolutely when fishing from a boat, but also for kids along the shore), a first aid kit, and waterproof boots or waders.
All people sportfishing in Alberta require a valid licence, except those under 16 years, Albertans over 65 years, and native Indian people. There is an $18 annual cost for Canadian Residents, $18 for a 5 day non-resident licence or $36 for an annual non-residents licence. Fees do not include 7% GST. Before purchasing any licence, a person must hold a valid Wildlife Identification Number ("WIN") (see Licensing System). You can apply for your number at the same time you purchase your licence. The WIN costs $8.00 and is valid for five years (renewable for another five years for $4.00). Fishing licences outside National Parks can be purchased from Fish and Wildlife offices, hardware and convenience stores, and department stores. Alberta Sportfishing Licences are NOT VALID in national parks in Alberta.
The Sturgeon Fishing Licence is only valid for the keeping of one sturgeon per year over 130 cm in length from the South Saskatchewan River system and only during the time period of June 16 to March 31. This licence costs $5 for all individuals (including those under 16 and Alberta Seniors).
For complete information contact Alberta Fish and Wildlife Division, 9920 - 108th St., Edmonton, AB TSK 2G6 or call (403) 427-6757. More online info:
Licences for fishing in our National Parks can be purchased at park information centres, administration, campgrounds, wardens offices and some fishing shops. The cost is $13 per year, or $6 for a seven day permit for all persons.
There is good fishing for walleye, northern pike, whitefish, perch, trout, goldeye on a number of lakes around Edmonton including:
Gull and Sylvan (to the south), Smoke & Cold (to the northeast),
Wabamun and Lesser Slave (to the north & west).
There is also good trout fishing on the North Saskatchewan, Athabasca, Pembina, and Red Deer rivers.
All around Edmonton are a number of glacially-formed pothole lake taht are
great for fly fishing, including Hasse Lake, East Pit Lake, Cardiff, lake
Eden, Morinville Reservoir, Peanut Lake, and Dolberg Lake (more info about
Check out fishing in the Rockies & Foothills