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Canada’s 30 Very Best Fishing Hot Spots

Outdoor Canada’s Fishing 2011 special annual edition has been out on the newsstands for several weeks now, but if you haven’t seen it yet, you should check it out. Why? To learn about the 30 very best places to go fishing in Canada.

Since this year mark’s the 30th anniversary of our Fishing annual, we decided to celebrate by choosing Canada’s 30 top fishing hot spots. You might just be surprised by some of our choices. In fact, I’d like to hear from you, whether you agree or disagree with our selections, or if you think your favourite body of water should have been included. Comment away on this page!

Here are the 30 top waters, as decided by the Outdoor Canada brain trust, in alphabetical order (for full write-ups on each hot spot, complete with fishing tips, please see our Fishing 2011 issue).

Canada’s Top 30 Hot Spots

1. Annapolis River, Nova Scotia

Claim to Fame: best for American shad

2. Bay of Quinte, Ontario

Claim to Fame: best for numbers of largemouth bass

3. Bow River, Alberta

Claim to Fame: best urban fly fishing

4. Fraser River, B.C.

Claim to Fame: best for giant white sturgeon

5. Grand Cascapedia River, Quebec

Claim to Fame: best for giant Atlantic salmon

6. Great Bear Lake, N.W.T.

Claim to Fame: best for trophy lake trout

7. Haida Gwaii, B.C.

Claim to Fame: best ocean fishing for chinook salmon

8. Kesagami Lake, Ontario

Claim to Fame: best for trophy northern pike

9. Kispiox River, B.C.

Claim to Fame: best for giant native steelhead

10. Lake Athabasca, Saskatchewan

Claim to Fame: best for numbers of big lake trout

11. Lake Diefenbaker, Saskatchewan

Claim to Fame: best for world-record rainbow trout

12. Lake Erie, Ontario

Claim to Fame: best for yellow perch

13. Lake of the Woods, Ontario

Claim to Fame: best for multiple species

14. Lake Simcoe, Ontario

Claim to Fame: best for smallmouth bass

15. Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba

Claim to Fame: best for walleye

16. Minipi Watershed, Newfoundland and Labrador

Claim to Fame: best for brook trout

17. Mistassini Lake, Quebec

Claim to Fame: best for big brook trout, along with lake trout, walleye and pike

18. Niagara River, Ontario

Claim to Fame: best for inland steelhead

19. North Lake, P.E.I.

Claim to Fame: best for giant bluefin tuna

20. Rainy Lake, Ontario

Claim to Fame: best for black crappie

21. Red River, Manitoba

Claim to Fame: best for channel catfish

22. Saint John River, New Brunswick

Claim to Fame: best for large striped bass

23. St. Lawrence River, Ontario & Quebec

Claim to Fame: best for trophy muskellunge

24. South Ram River, Alberta

Claim to Fame: best for westslope cutthroat trout

25. Stamp River, B.C.

Claim to Fame: Best river fishing for chinook salmon

26. Thousand Islands, Ontario

Claim to Fame: best for carp

27. Tobin Lake, Saskatchewan

Claim to Fame: best for reservoir walleye

28. Tree River, Nunavut

Claim to Fame: best for world-record Arctic char

29. Wolf River, Yukon

Claim to Fame: best for numbers of Arctic grayling

30. Witless Bay Lower Pond, Newfoundland and Labrador

Claim to Fame: best for big sea-run brown trout

Patrick Walsh

Patrick Walsh

Patrick Walsh is Outdoor Canada's Editor-in-Chief and Brand Manager. He grew up fishing and hunting in Bracebridge, Ontario, where he began his magazine career in 1983 as assistant editor of Muskoka Life magazine. Since then, he has worked for a variety of media, both in Canada and abroad, earning numerous writing and editing awards. In 2005, 2011 and 2012, the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors named him Editor of the Year, while Outdoor Canada was honoured as Magazine of the Year (in the medium circulation category). Walsh has been at the magazine's helm since 2000.