Anglers know deep down that we can’t spend every waking moment on the water. That’s where this year’s roundup of hot spots comes in. These 31 great fishing destinations also offer fun, quirky and downright cool attractions, activities and events guaranteed to enhance your fishing trip. Think of it as a value-added action guide to angling—and playing—across this great land.
Often overshadowed by the province’s far more famous blue-ribbon Atlantic salmon streams, the local smallmouth bass fishery remains practically untapped. And that’s good news for bronzeback fans (like Outdoor Canada’s Gord Pyzer above). Southwestern New Brunswick’s Lake Magaguadavic, in particular,is an easy-to-access fall hot spot with bass averaging two and a half pounds. Visiting anglers can expect to catch 25 to 35 fish a day using the favourite local baits—tube jigs and Senkos, especially in crayfish colours. Be sure to time your fishing trip with mid-September’s popular Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival (below) in nearby Fredericton. For six days, the city’s historic downtown plays host to 400-plus musicians, with 150 performances across 27 stages. “Our audiences are a fleece-wearing, beer-drinking, music-loving kind of crowd,” festival organizers say. “Harvest means a week of letting loose, taking in tunes and having one hell of a time!” Sign us up.
While the Miramichi River (above) is best known for its world-famous Atlantic salmon, the river is continuing to gain popularity as a top striped bass destination. Indeed, the latest fishery surveys show that more than 255,000 stripers spawn in the river each spring, when the fishing can be fast and furious. Do yourself a favour and head to Moncton just before the season opens to indulge your intellectual side at the annual Frye Festival (below). Held in late April, Canada’s only bilingual international literary festival is also the Atlantic provinces’ largest literary event. Commemorating literary critic Northrop Frye, who spent his formative years in Moncton, the festival has hosted more than 400 award-winning authors from around the world, including the likes of Alistair MacLeod, Margaret Atwood, Linden MacIntyre, Nancy Huston and Yann Martel. Events run the literary gamut, from book readings to writing workshops, along with musical performances.