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Pickerel Fishing in Canada: Your Ultimate Guide

If you’re a fan of pickerel fishing, there’s no better place to experience it than in Canada. The country is home to some of the best pickerel fishing spots in the world, with its vast network of lakes and rivers teeming with this sought-after species. Pickerel, also known as walleye, are particularly popular among anglers due to their tasty meat and the thrills that come with catching them. In this guide, we’ll offer some tips and tricks on how to make the most out of your pickerel fishing trip in Canada.
Pick the Right Location

Canada has countless fishable bodies of water – from small creeks to massive lakes and rivers – that can accommodate a variety of pickerel fishing techniques. The key is to choose the right location based on your fishing preferences and skill level. If you’re after trophy-sized walleyes, try heading to Lake Winnipeg or Lac La Biche in Alberta, which are known for their monster walleyes. If it’s speed fishing you’re after, head to Lake of the Woods or the St. Lawrence River, where you can catch a lot of Pickerel in a short amount of time. Regardless of your choice, you must conduct thorough research about the location and its regulations before setting sail to ensure a successful trip.

Pick the Right Tackle and Technique

Pickerel are notoriously finicky, which makes picking the right tackle and technique essential to a successful trip. Some favorite choices in Canada include using live bait such as minnows or crayfish, or trolling crankbaits and spinnerbaits. For those fond of jigging, use leadhead jigs tipped with soft plastic bait or a shiner or a sucker. You can also cast the jigs to submerged structures or troll them in open water. Whatever technique or bait you use, make sure you have the appropriate gear: a medium-light to medium action spinning rod with a fast tip paired with a reel that can handle 2- to 4-pound test line is ideal for pickerel fishing.

Consider the Season and Time of Day

The season and time of day play an important role in pickerel fishing. Generally, spring is known to be a great time to catch pickerel in Canada as the water warms up, and the walleyes spawn closer to shore during this time. On the other end of the spectrum, the fall features the best opportunity to catch them congregating in rocks and ledges attending to their feeding needs before winter sets in. Time of the day is also essential. Like most animals, walleye follows a certain rhythm where typically they are more active during the low light times of dawn and dusk. So an early morning excursion or a late afternoon may align with your goals.

Consider Local Regulations

Before planning your pickerel trip in Canada, be sure to check local fishing regulations. Some provinces allow anglers to catch and keep a certain number of walleyes each day; others have strict catch-and-release policies for walleye fishing. Make sure you know if slot sizes or restrictions are in place and have your license in order before heading out.

Hire a Fishing Guide

If you’re new to pickerel fishing or unfamiliar with the area you’ll be fishing in, you may want to consider hiring a fishing guide. A pickerel fishing guide will explore the water with you and offer helpful strategies and advice on techniques they’ve seen work in your area. They will also provide information on where to find walleye, what time of day is most effective and what to look for when scanning the depths. Having a guide can significantly increase your chances of a more productive trip while learning the environment on your own.


Pickerel fishing in Canada is a great way for anglers to enjoy the beautiful scenery and the thrills of catching this sought-after species. With the right location, tackle, technique, awareness of regulations, and knowledge of local guides, you can have an unforgettable experience while landing these fighters. Additionally, having reliable gear, packing the right clothes, and taking the right precautions in the water can only make the experience better. So next time you’re planning your pickerel trip to Canada keep these tips in mind – and gear up for one great adventure on the water.