Winnipeg Fishing

[ Background | Equipment | Where ]

Background of the Sport

Fishing off the dock is the easiest way to fish 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)


Youth getting fishing lures ready 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.

Manitoba Fishing Rules

Licences are sold at most hardware and sporting goods stores, fishing centres and lodges. Not all vendors carry non-resident licences and many do not have licences during winter. Licences may also be bought by mail.

  • Canadian Resident Conservation: $9.00, Regular $15.00
  • Manitoba Resident Senior Conservation: $6.00
  • Non-resident Conservation: $22.00, Regular $40.00

    Licenses are valid from May 1, 2000 until and including April 30, 2001, but are not valid until they are signed. Licenses are not transferable or refundable. If a licence is lost another must be purchased. All persons, except those exempted below, who engage in angling, dip netting, seining, minnow trapping, spear fishing, and bow fishing, must have a Manitoba Angling Licence on their person. The conservation licence entitles the holder to reduced catch limits. A Manitoba Resident Seniors Conservation Licence is for Manitoba seniors (65 and over) resident in Manitoba for over 6 months and is valid for a conservation limit of fish. Manitoba seniors wanting a regular limit of fish must buy a regular resident licence. Residents under 16, non-residents under 16 fishing with a licence holder, status Indians do not need a license.

    National Parks

    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.


    Fishing in southern Manitoba is good at Clear Lake, Dauphin River, Fort Whyte Ponds, Lac Du Bonnet, Lake of the Prairies, Red River, Rock Lake, and the Winnipeg River. Whiteshell Provincial Park, to the east of the city, has about a dozen great fishing lakes. These are great for walleye, perch, northern pike, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, crappie, goldeye trout, catfish, carp, musky.

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