Combining charming towns with amazing angling opportunities, Canada is unrivaled when it comes to family fishing. The country is so vast and beautiful, you could spend a lifetime exploring its stunning locales. As much as you and your loved ones would enjoy such an endeavor, you probably don’t have a lifetime to spend just traveling around. With that in mind, we’ve created a list of the best family fishing towns in Canada.
For this list, we’ve included towns that offer great family-friendly activities, as well as fantastic reel action. If you’re a fishing purist just in it for the catch, check out this guide.
In no particular order, the best family fishing towns in Canada are:
Victoria, British Columbia
Slowly but surely, Victoria is growing to become one of the best fisheries on the continent. The incredible variety of species you can catch are reason enough to cast your line here. Add to that the year-round fishing season and a picture-perfect township, and you’ve got yourself a family bucket-lister.
Right off the coast, Oak Bay is one of the most productive fishing hotspots. Home to great numbers of Salmon, this place is a great choice for winter and spring. Speaking of Salmon, did you know that you can catch as many as many as 5 species of Pacific Salmon in Victoria’s waters?
With something on the bite pretty much year-round, Albert Head is another spot you wouldn’t want to miss. A little further out to the south, Race Rocks are a great choice, especially if you’re into Rockfish and Halibut fishing. Keep in mind though that the waters can get a little choppy here.
If you want someone to show your kids how to fish, you’ll be glad to know that there are a number of family-friendly fishing charters in Victoria.
Things to Do
Victoria is the capital of British Columbia and one of the oldest towns in the Pacific Northwest. Boasting rich Victorian heritage and blooming parklands, the town has no shortage of culture and natural beauty to offer. The capital also provides a wealth of family-oriented activities, making it a favorite getaway for Canadians as well as US citizens.
Being one of the oldest towns doesn’t come without its perks. Victoria is home to Canada’s first Chinatown. During the late 1800s, the town had well-developed trade routes to China, and its streets were a testament to how close this connection was. Did you know that Victoria was one of North America’s largest importers of opium?
Okay, back to more family-friendly topics. Kids will love Miniature World, where some of the world’s greatest stories are recreated in meticulous detail. There’s a playground for grownups, too. Victoria’s captivating little streets are dotted with sublime eateries and unique shopping opportunities.
Overlooking the town is the legendary Craigdarroch Castle, home of coal baron Robert Dunsmuir. Today, the castle is a National Historic Site, offering visitors a glimpse into what 1890s opulence was all about.
Half an hour away from the town’s bustle, you’ll find the lush and colorful Butchart Gardens. This century-old oasis openly welcomes families to its 900 species of plants, tranquil ponds, and theme-styled gardens from all over the world. And lastly, go for an experience you won’t be forgetting any time soon – Victoria’s signature whale watching.
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Few things can compete with fishing in one of the most scenic places on the planet. Don’t be fooled by Niagara’s beauty, though. This place has some serious angling going on, and the action is pretty much non-stop.
Every spring around mid-April, the Niagara River comes to a frenzy with the Chinook bite. Anglers flock to the area from all over the country, knowing how good King Salmon fishing is. Niagara is not a one-trick pony, though. From April through September, the river is teeming with big Steelhead, Lake, and Brown Trout. And if that’s not enough, you can wet your line for some Bass, Musky, and Walleye, too.
Things to Do
We all know what Niagara’s signature attraction is. The sight of the three awe-inspiring waterfalls crashing down into the blue Niagara River is bound to get your heart racing. If you want to get up close and personal with these mighty waters, hop on the Hornblower. You’ll be in for a splash of a lifetime!
If you’d like to experience the Falls without getting wet, head over to Skylon Tower. The Tower doesn’t just give you a spectacular view of the Falls and the city of Buffalo, NY. It boasts a Revolving Dining Room with some of the best food you’ll ever have.
If you’re in town with just your partner, head over to Niagara on the Lake. This romantic little town is home to idyllic wineries and serene walking trails. Did you know that, back in the day, the Niagara area was one of the most popular honeymoon destinations in North America?
Lying right on the mighty South Saskatchewan River, Saskatoon’s fishing was always going to be good. This is one of the premier Walleye and Pike fisheries in the province, and it won’t take you long to figure out why. If you’d like a change of scenery however, there are plenty of lakes and reservoirs around to wet your line in.
A 30-minute drive south will take you to the beautiful Blackstrap Provincial Park. This man-made retreat is perfect for fishing and all manner of water sports you can think of. Apart from native Walleye and Pike, you can find Perch, Burbot, and Whitefish in these waters.
Things to Do
Often dubbed Paris of the Prairies, Saskatoon has a lot more going for it than just fishing.
Saskatoon was originally founded as a Temperance colony in 1882, but you wouldn’t know that just by walking its streets. Today, the town is a lively buzzing place, and one of Canada’s fastest-growing communities. With more sunlight per year than any other Canadian city, this place is perfect for a family summer getaway.
From June to August, the town comes alive with celebrations like jazz, theater, and folk festivals. That’s not to say that winter in Saskatoon is a dull affair. The area is famous for its cross-country skiing and dog sledding trails.
Whenever you decide to visit, the Saskatoon Zoo is a must-see. There are a number of local arts and crafts in town, as well. Just outside of town, the Berry Barn welcomes you to their amazing local delicacies. Pro tip: go for the signature Saskatoon berry pie, and see why the town got its name after it.
With one of the world’s very best fisheries right on its doorstep, choosing Kingston as your destination seems like a no-brainer. Even if your loved ones don’t enjoy fishing as much as you do, there are plenty of things that will make them love this place. But more on that later.
As some of the younger anglers like to say, fishing out of Kingston is like having a cheat code. Perfectly situated at the root of St. Lawrence River, this area hosts an incredible variety of fish. You’ll be able to test your skills against the likes of Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, Walleye, Pike, Muskie, Perch, and many others.
One of the favorite local fishing spots is the Thousand Islands National Park. This pristine reserve is a perfect place to get your kids into fishing. There are a number of local fishing guides that will take you around the most productive spots in the area.
Things to Do
As Canada’s first capital, Kingston is home to a number of historic sites. One of those is the beautiful mansion of the nation’s first prime minister, the Bellevue House. The town is also home to Ontario’s first public market, still brimming with fresh produce and artisanal craftwork.
If your kids are into trains, take them to the PumpHouse. This steam museum is a great place to learn about steam engines, engineering, and 100-year-old “modern technology.” For some cool historic architecture, be sure to check out Queen’s University.
People often say that Kingston has more restaurants per capita than any other town in Canada. To prove it, there are countless charming eateries downtown, as well as a number of counter-style joints.
Once you’re all full and happy, it’s time for a stroll down Princess Street. The street is lined with many historic limestone buildings, and is one of the town’s main shopping venues. As the day winds down, head further down Princess Street straight to the waterfront, where you’ll be able to enjoy some amazing views of the St. Lawrence River.
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Combining unparalleled deep sea fishing with a distinct seaside charm, Charlottetown is a coastal gem like no other. Prince Edward Island is world-renowned for its Bluefin Tuna fishery, and has seen plenty of 1,000+ lb Bluefins over the years. Most of the Bluefin fishing charters depart from the northern side of the island, but thankfully, many of these are just half an hour away.
Fishing for Bluefins can be a tall order, though, even for an experienced angler. Luckily, you’ll have plenty of Lobsters and Mackerel to catch around the island. Shark fishing is great, as well, especially during late summer. Once you catch your fill, top your outing off with the sight of a whale splashing in the distance.
If a more serene fishing experience is your thing, there are number of rivers on the island. In these waters, you’ll be able to catch good-sized Steelhead and Brook Trout.
Things to Do
It’s hard to believe that a relatively small island can have so much fun to offer. The town prides itself as the birthplace of the Confederation. In 1864, the leaders of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Québec met in Charlottetown to form what was to become the new nation.
Since its publishing in 1908, thousands of people have wondered if the magical setting of the Anne of Green Gables book was real. Little did they know that it was Prince Edward Island where the story came to life. Today, Charlottetown holds an annual Anne of Green Gables musical, the longest running annual musical in the world, and a children’s favorite.
Perfect for family fun, the Rice and Climb Adventure Course offers a number of rides and zip-lines to conquer. All that climbing and zip-lining can be tiring, so make sure to follow it up with a nice Charlottetown dinner. You’ll have a plethora of amazing restaurants to choose from, serving some of the freshest seafood you’ll ever taste.
Half an hour to the north, you’ll find the scenic resort area of Cavendish. This place boasts one of the most beautiful sandy beaches in all of Canada, and that’s saying a lot. The nearby boardwalk is dotted with unique shops and restaurants perfect for a post-beach respite.
Saint John, New Brunswick
Saint John, one of Canada’s oldest towns, is definitely among its most beautiful.
Finishing its long run from Maine to the Bay of Fundy, Saint John River flows right through its namesake town. Fishing up the river between its two picturesque coasts is a sight you’ll remember for a long time. You can expect some good-sized Sturgeon and Smallmouth Bass in these waters, too.
Downstream, as the river empties into the bay, a unique phenomenon takes place – The Reversing Falls. This area of whirlpools and rapids is actually a popular fishing spot, especially for Striped Bass. With more 20+ lb Stripers caught in these waters than the rest of Canada combined, these guys are a signature catch in Saint John.
Things to Do
Saint John’s architecture is a mirror reflection of its rich history. The town’s earliest settlers were families loyal to the British Crown during the American Revolution. Fleeing from Massachusetts, these families brought a distinct culture and atmosphere to town.
In 1877, a big fire raged through Saint John, decimating large parts of Saint John. The loyalists led the rebuild effort, and with help from a few Bostonian architects, contributed to its present day Victorian charm. You can walk these very streets in one of the many local walking tours, and learn what life in Saint John was like in the 1800s. If you’re not much of a hiker, you can learn about Saint John’s history by visiting the town’s forts and museums.
However, if your stroll does leave you peckish, Saint John will be more than happy to help. The Bay of Fundy has filled local restaurant will incredible fresh seafood, but the food options don’t stop there. The town’s food scene boasts a whole range of international restaurants that are sure to spoil you for choice.
The town’s surroundings are equally as enticing. From Fundy National Park to bayside walking trails, the local nature will leave you speechless.
Lunenburg, Nova Scotia
Conveniently perched on the Atlantic coast, Lunenburg is perfect for big game fishing. As you set out, you’ll have a desktop-worthy look at Lunenburg Bay.
Once you’re out in the open, you’ll be able to catch your fill of Stripers and Mackerel. If you’re up for a real adventure though, go for a full day outing for some giant Bluefin Tuna. Pro tip: ask your captain to throw in a little whale watching to finish the day off.
Bluefins are strictly managed in recent years, and only Canadian residents can obtain Bluefin fishing permits.
Lunenburg doesn’t just offer saltwater fishing, either. In springtime, the LaHave River is full of good sized Bass, Brook Trout, and Shad.
Things to Do
With its unique architecture and incredible coloring, the town of Lunenburg is well deserving of its UNESCO World Heritage Site badge. Its Old Town is actually one of only two North American urban communities wearing the prestigious label.
Back in the Prohibition days, Lunenburg was one of the main rum-running ports to the US. Of course, its ports were big on fishing, as well. To learn more about Nova Scotia’s rich fishing heritage, pay a visit to the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic.
There’s more than one way to learn about maritime heritage, though. In 1921, a racing schooner called the Bluenose launched from Lunenburg. The ship went on to become a world-renowned racing champion, going undefeated for 17 years of competition. Its exact replica, the Bluenose II will take you on a cruise you won’t forget.
When it comes to arts, entertainment, and dining, Lunenburg definitely punches above its weight. The town has a number of galleries, crafts, and music festivals, and exquisite restaurants to offer. Lastly, your family visit to Lunenburg wouldn’t be complete without a visit to one of its scenic nearby beaches. If we had to pick one, we’d say go to Hirtle’s Beach. The 2-mile stretch of sand offers breathtaking views of the open ocean, with a equally picturesque backdrop behind you.
And So Many More
The list of best family fishing towns in Canada could go on forever. The country is so vast, so rich with natural and man-mad beauty, that creating a list this short just doesn’t do it justice. What does is visiting as many of these places as you can. So, what are you waiting for? Get a hold of your loved ones, and start planning your next family fishing trip!
What do you think of our picks? Have you ever visited one of these family fishing towns before? What are some towns you think we might have missed? Let us know in the comments below.