Fishing in Newfoundland And Labrador

Explore Newfoundland and Labrador's incredible fishing opportunities, from trophy Atlantic salmon to cod in its bountiful waters.
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About Newfoundland And Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada's easternmost province, offers a vast array of fishing opportunities, attracting anglers from around the world. Whether on the island of Newfoundland, home to the majority of the provincial population, or on the continental Labrador, fishing is an ancient tradition and an indispensable part of life. The province boasts of over 10,000 kilometers of coastline and thousands of lakes and rivers, including truly unique places such as a location where salmon migrate to their breeding grounds by an underground pool, and the Great Banks of Labrador, shallow areas in the sea where the warm current creates excellent habitat for saltwater fish. From fly-fishing in crystal-clear rivers to battling cod and halibut in the deep-sea, the fishing experiences in Newfoundland and Labrador are truly exceptional. The summer months are the best time for a fishing trip to Newfoundland and Labrador. For inshore fishing, consider timing your trip to coincide with the annual capelin run, when millions of these small fish spawn along the coastline. This natural event attracts a multitude of predatory fish, providing an exciting and productive fishing experience. Fishing regulations are in place to protect fish populations, and licenses are required for both residents and non-residents. While the rules for saltwater and nearshore fishing are on the liberal side, fishing regulations for salmon rivers are strict and often location specific. Anglers are encouraged to familiarize themselves with these regulations and consider hiring a fishing guide to maximize their fishing experience.

Fishing Types

Newfoundland and Labrador offer a wide range of fishing experiences. Enthusiasts of backcountry fishing should seriously consider an adventure on Labrador, which offers large tracts of unpopulated tundra landscapes. The island of Newfoundland, with its more moderate climate, also offers great backcountry fishing opportunities, as well as river, lake, nearshore and offshore fishing in relative closeness to civilization. Fishingguides and lodges are available to help visitors navigate the province's diverse fishing landscape. The province's rugged coastline and remote fishing locations provide an unmatched sense of adventure for anglers of all skill levels.

Targeted Fish Species

The rivers and lakes of Newfoundland and Labrador make up over 60% of the Atlantic salmon habitat in North America, and no wonder many anglers refer to the province as the No 1 destination for the king of freshwater gamefish. Apart from sea-run salmon, you can cast your fly for landlocked salmon, or ouananiche, as it’s locally known. Brown, brook and rainbow trout, both in sea-run and non-migratory morphs, are also numerous. Remote rivers and lakes of Labrador also offer great fishing for northern pike and whitefish. As salmon is the king of the freshwater fishing on Newfoundland and Labrador, so cod dominates saltwater fishing. Cod stocks were depleted by overfishing, but after strict management measures were introduced, populations begin to recover and now recreational fishing is allowed again. Atlantic mackerel, halibut, and flounder are also popular catches in Newfoundland and Labrador's coastal waters, while more adventurous anglers can pursue the powerful blue shark.

Fishing Techniques

Fly-fishing is not only the most popular way of freshwater fishing in Newfoundland and Labrador, it’s the only legal way to fish for salmon. The fly must have one barbless hook only. While wet flies and nymphs are the order of the day for Atlantic salmon fishing, landlocked salmon in the more remote lake is said to take dry flies as well. Most salmon fishing is catch-and-release only, however, on some rivers the anglers can keep one or two fish a season. On many rivers, non-resident anglers must be accompanied by a registered guide or a direct relative. Spinning gear is also popular for pursuing other freshwater species. In saltwater environments, bottom fishing techniques are employed for cod, halibut and flounder, and the blue sharks can be targeted using heavy tackle and trolling.