The Best Canadian Provinces For Fishing

Date IconLast Updated: 2023 Sep 12
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The Best Canadian Provinces For Fishing
© USA Today

Fishing in Canada holds a special place in the hearts of  locals and enthusiasts from around the world. Renowned for its stunning landscapes, pristine waters and an abundance of fish species -- it’s no wonder the country has earned a reputation as a premier fishing destination.

Best Canadian Provinces For Fishing

The popularity of fishing in Canada is deeply ingrained in its history and culture. Indigenous communities have fished these waters for generations, and their traditional knowledge and practices have helped shape the modern fishing industry. Today, fishing is not just a recreational pastime, it's an economic powerhouse, contributing significantly to Canada's economy. Nationally, the Canadian fishing equipment industry is worth an estimated CA$408 million in 2023 alone. 

Ahead of National Hunting, Trapping & Fishing Heritage Day on Sept. 16, decided to work out the Best Provinces in Canada for Fishing. We did this by measuring for different factors in each area: freshwater coverage percentage, average fishing license cost, number of available fishing charters and the average cost of taking a fishing charter per person.

Where Should You Cast Your Line In Canada?

Best Canadian Provinces for Fishing

After baiting our hooks, can reveal that Ontario is the Best Province for Fishing. The home of four of the five Great Lakes achieved a Final Fishing Score of 77 out of 100. This included a perfect grade in the Water Area Score category (100/100), as well as high scores in the Charter Choice & Cost sections, resulting in the most populated Canadian province topping the rankings.

fishing in Ontario

Manitoba is the runner-up at #2, with a final score of 68. The Keystone Province was consistently in the top half of all the analyzed categories, without topping any. With over 100,000 lakes and waterways available, there are far worse places for anglers to visit. 

Ranked at #3 is Nova Scotia. The Atlantic and maritime province achieved a Final Fishing Score of 59 out of 100. New Brunswick (56) and Newfoundland & Labrador (55), are ranked #4 and #5, respectively.

At the other end of the rankings, Saskatchewan (#10) is the worst province for fishing. Canada’s breadbasket was bottom of three of the four data points measured, resulting in a final score of just 17.

Alberta was ranked the second worst in #9, earning a final grade of 31 out of 100. British Columbia (36) and Quebec (43) fared slightly better in #8 & #7


  • ranked the Provinces for Fishing by measuring these four data points in each place:
  • Freshwater coverage percentage: Taken from World Atlas.
  • Average fishing license cost: Taken from provincial government websites/sources.
  • # of available fishing charters: Taken from TripAdvisor, BaitYourHook & FishingBooker.
  • Average fishing charter cost: Taken from TripAdvisor, BaitYourHook & FishingBooker.
  • All four data points were measured out of 100 using the PERCENTRANK formula, and an average was found to create a ‘Final Fishing Score’. Provinces were ranked from highest to lowest final score.
  • Per capita calculations were completed using population statistics from Statistics Canada - all data was collected and correct on 08/30/2023.