Known as the Keystone Province, Manitoba is home to over 100,000 lakes and beautiful untouched natural wilderness and waterways. Thanks to the abundance of lakes, you could fish a different lake every day and still not cover them all for years and years.

Manitoba is a freshwater anglers paradise with something new to explore every day. From tranquil streams and rivers to deep and dark lakes, it offers endless angling possibilities for anyone looking to take their fishing to the next level.

If you’re new to Manitoba or just planning your first destination fishing adventure in this beautiful province of Canada, don’t worry, we have you covered with everything you’ll need to know about maximizing your catch rate. In the following comprehensive Manitoba fishing guide, we’ll cover:

If you enjoy fishing and want to master fishing in all weather conditions, including rain, check out Fishing After Rain: Exploring the Pros and Cons of Post-Rain Fishing!

While there are a lot of fishing locations in Manitoba, finding the best fishing spots, such as those secret local spots, can be a little more challenging, especially without the assistance of local anglers.

However, thanks to the Fishbox App, a premium Fishing Forecasting App, you’ll know the perfect time to plan your destination fishing trip to Manitoba, including when your target species is most active and outstanding local hotspots.

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Expert Opinion on the Fishing in Manitoba

Pierce Latta

16 years fishing experience

“While I have never been to Manitoba, Canada myself, I certainly plan to go there one day to do some fishing, especially after reading this article. The first thing that I really enjoyed about this article is how it starts with talking about fishing licenses. It follows by talking about the importance of size and bag limits. As someone who is extremely passionate about preserving the health of our waters, this made me extremely happy to see. Now, the first thing anglers see when encountering this article is how to fish safely for the sake of themselves and fish stocks. Additionally, the article is super helpful because of the fact that all the license information is provided so you don’t have to go looking elsewhere—this is great for convenience. In addition to the regulatory information provided, I also loved the discussion of some of the more popular species in Manitoba giving readers like me information such as the fight the fish will put up and when and where you can catch these fish. As an outsider to Manitoba, this is extremely valuable information as it gives me a start before I’m even on the ground there. This can help me to better prepare for that fishery with things like gear and tackle. As the article continues, it provides us with a glimpse into some of the more popular fishing spots in Manitoba—another super helpful addition. We get a bit of information as to what species inhabit these spots and what would be our best approach to catching fish in these different locations. The last thing the article touches on is some different techniques and tips with regard to fishing in Manitoba. As an angler not from around this area at all, any information I can get is super valuable, so I was meticulous when reading about these topics. One of the cool things that I liked about this section was the brief discussion on guided fishing trips. I do feel like a lot of times anglers are looked down upon when using a guide to catch fish calling it “unfair” or “cheating.” In reality, however, it might not be a bad idea, especially if you’re very new to an area, to look into getting a guide to get you acquainted with and familiar with the local waters. Many of these guides have probably been there quite some time and have the experience necessary to give you some groundwork to go off of when targeting fish by yourself. Again, like I always reiterate, locals are your ticket to more in-depth knowledge—not so that you don’t have to do any work on your own, but so that you have somewhere to start. It is still going to take your own effort and hard work in order for you to be able to produce results in a new area. You need research, a fishing community and time on the water and the sky’s the limit. I hope you guys have enjoyed reading this article like I did and found these comments helpful and encouraging. As always, good luck and tight lines!”

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Manitoba Fishing Guide: Basics

If you are planning on dropping a line or casting a lure in Manitoba, the first thing that you’ll need is a fishing license. All anglers over the age of 16 who want to fish are required to have a fishing license.

As responsible anglers, it’s vital that we all do our part to ensure that Manitoba’s abundant and healthy fishery stays that way for many generations to come. Part of being a responsible angler is purchasing a valid fishing license, with the funding raised going directly back into managing and preserving the fishery. However, that’s not all we can do to protect Manitoba’s abundant and healthy fishery.

Following size limits, season limits, and bag limits help to protect the breeding stock of the fish. Taking only what we need and safely releasing the rest is also vital. 

When you are fishing, be aware of the environment in which you’re fishing. Try not to impact native vegetation and clean up any rubbish or fishing tackle you discard, taking it with you when you’re finished fishing for the day. By being responsible anglers, we’re ensuring that future generations of fishing enthusiasts will be able to enjoy the same fantastic fishing that we do.

Manitoba Fishing Regulations and Licencing

Residents under the age of 16 and Status Indians are exempt from having a fishing license to fish in Manitoba. All anglers over the age of 16 who want to fish in Manitoba are required to have a fishing license.

The Annual Conservation Fishing Licence is a conservative fishing license with some species restrictions.

  • Annual Conservation Fishing Licence – $19.20 for Manitoban residents aged between 16 and 64.
  • Annual Conservation Fishing Licence – Free for Manitoban residents 65 and over.
  • Annual Conservation Fishing Licence – $28 for Canadian Residents. 
  • Annual Conservation Fishing Licence – $37.85 for non-residents of Canada.
  • Annual Regular Fishing License – $25.10 for Manitoban residents.
  • Annual Regular Fishing Licence – $47.65 for Canadian residents.
  • Annual Regular Fishing Licence – $62.35 for non-residents of Canada.

When fishing anywhere in Manitoba, you must carry your valid fishing license with you or risk the possibility of a $175 fine. The fine for fishing without a fishing license is $300.

You have a variety of different options when it comes to purchasing a fishing license or permit in Manitoba. One of the easiest ways to get your fishing license is to purchase it online. You can buy your Manitoba fishing license online via the Manitoba Licencing Website here.

If you would prefer to purchase your fishing license in person, you have several options, including hardware and sporting goods stores, fishing centers, and lodges located throughout the province.

You can also purchase your license over the phone by calling 1-800-214-6497 or via mail by writing to the Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship at 200 Saulteaux Cres., Winnipeg, Man., R3J 3W3.

For more information about Manitoba fishing rules and regulations, be sure to download the annual Manitoba Angler’s Guide.

Manitoba Fishing Seasons

While you can fish all year round in Manitoba, the best season is undeniably the warmer summer months. That’s not to say that ice fishing in winter isn’t fantastic, but there’s just something nice about being able to fish in a pair of shorts and a T-shirt.

When the April showers depart and the May flowers arrive, Canadian anglers across Manitoba head out and start gearing up for the summer fishing season. 

While the weather on top of the water is beautiful and warm, the deep water in the lakes is still lovely and cold, and fish are actively feeding at most water levels. While it can be challenging at times to catch fish during the hottest periods of the day, early morning and late afternoon/evening can be highly productive as fish venture out of the deeper waters to feed in the shallow areas.

Exploring Manitoba Fish Species

Be prepared for a fantastic lineup of diverse fish species when you cast your line in Manitoba, Canada. From delicious table fish to great fighting fish, there truly is a fish species for every angler in Manitoba. There are so many fish we can’t cover them all, but in the following section, we’ll cover some of the most popular species and give you the information you’ll need to successfully catch them.


Walleyes aren’t just prized in Manitoba but by anglers everywhere for their delicious flavor and texture. They aren’t just great to eat; they’re also fun to catch for anglers of all ages. They put up a good fight, but it’s not so intense as to make them impossible to catch.

The Manitoba waterways are filled with Walleye in many of the province’s lakes and rivers, and you won’t be spoiled for locations to cast a line. Walleye are available year-round, but if you’re chasing a trophy, fall and winter are your best opportunities to catch a monster.

Northern Pike

Well-known for their beautiful appearance and appetite, Northern Pike is one of Manitoba’s largest freshwater predators. Small baitfish and minnows aren’t safe when these monsters are cruising the lakes and rivers.

When you hook up on a Northern Pike, you’ll know it thanks to their ferocious strike, and during the battle that ensues, they’ll put up an excellent pound-for-pound fight. Prime fishing season for large Northern Pike in Manitoba is typically May through to June, but can catch them almost year-round across the province.

Lake Trout, Brook Trout, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, and Tiger Trout

Manitoba has a variety of different Trout perfect for any Trout enthusiasts, including Rainbow, Brown, Lake, Brook, and the very aggressive Tiger Trout. All available in trophy sizes, these Manitoba Trout are present in almost all of Manitoba’s lakes, rivers, and streams.

You can catch Trout throughout Manitoba almost year-round, both on open water and through the ice in the winter. Just about every different body of water in Manitoba has a Trout species, so Trout anglers really are spoiled for choice. However, the far north of Manitoba is home to some of the best Trout angling, so be sure to check it out.

Smallmouth Bass 

Manitoba may not be the most well-known Smallmouth Bass fishery in Canada or the United States. Still, Manitoba has a healthy population of Smallies just waiting for anglers to hook in.

The best months to target Smallmouth Bass in Manitoba are anywhere from May through to October, with the opening of the season providing the hottest Bass action. However, even through the ice in winter large Smallmouth Bass over 20 inches are still on the table for anglers who are brave enough to get out in the cool and cut a hole through the ice.

While Smallmouth Bass aren’t as widespread in Manitoba as the Walleye or Northern Pike, there are still some excellent opportunities to catch them in the many rivers and lakes spread out across the province.

Many Other Exciting Manitoba Freshwater Species

And while the species above may be the most popular freshwater species, there are plenty more fish in the rivers, lakes, and streams waiting to be caught by enthusiastic anglers. 

Channel Catfish are abundant throughout the province, along with Yellow Perch, Lake Whitefish, Drum, Sauger, and many others. If that’s not enough fish variety for you, there’s also a large Sturgeon lurking in many rivers. However, Sturgeon is subject to vigorous catch and release regulations, so be aware of all regulations governing Sturgeon before you head out after these tenacious fish.

Top Fishing Spots in Manitoba

This is the part that everyone’s most interested in, some of the best fishing spots in Manitoba, Canada. Please note these are just some of the top spots, and we could write an entire book about the excellent opportunities this beautiful province of Canada offers anglers.

Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba

With over 100,000 lakes, it’s no surprise that Manitoba is home to the 10th largest lake in the world, Lake Winnipeg. The sprawling waters of Lake Winnipeg are home to a variety of freshwater species, including Northern Pike, Burbot, Sauger, Walleye, and many others. However, it’s the Walleye fishing that draws the most anglers to this spectacular lake.

While it may be one of the world’s biggest lakes, Lake Winnipeg is also shallow, and come winter, the cold weather causes it to freeze over, producing some excellent winter ice fishing opportunities. Located just an hour from Winnipeg, Lake Winnipeg is a fantastic option for a day trip.

Lac du Bonnet, Manitoba 

Lying on the Winnipeg River, Lac du Bonnet is a small town that punches above its weight when it comes to fishing opportunities in Manitoba. Species on offer around Lac du Bonnet include Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, and the aggressive Tiger Trout, Channel Catfish, Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, and Walleye.

Lake of the Woods, Manitoba

Located in the south of Manitoba is the beautiful waters of Lake of the Woods. Lake of the Woods has over 14,000 small islands dotted around its waters and is undeniably one of the most beautiful bodies of water you’ll ever fish on.

No surprise here, but the most sought-after fish in Lake of the Woods is the mighty Walleye, and the Walleye is so good that it’s often described by anglers as one of the best and biggest Walleye fisheries in the world. However, that’s not all you’ll catch. There are also Muskies, Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, and Sauger just to name a few.

Parkland Region, Manitoba

If you love your Trout fishing, the Parkland Region of Manitoba is one of the best places to get your Trout itch scratched. The Parkland Region stretches from Lake Manitoba all the way to the border of Saskatchewan. It’s a complicated and diverse region covered by a network of lakes, rivers, and streams.

Some of the most popular areas of the Parkland Region include Twin Lakes for Tiger Trout, East Goose Lake for Brown and Rainbow Trout, and Persse Lake for Brook Trout and Brown Trout. If you visit Tees Lake, there are some extremely rare albino Rainbow Trout for any angler searching for the unicorn of freshwater fish.

Red River, Manitoba

Now, we promise you some more information about the excellent catfishing on offer in Manitoba, and you won’t be disappointed. One of the world’s best fisheries for Channel Catfish is located in the Red River, along with Lockport and Selkirk.

Most of the Channel Catfish found in the Red River area of Manitoba are believed to average around the 20-pound range, so get plenty of rest and make sure that your fishing tackle and rods are in top condition. Peak Catfish season begins around the middle of May and stretches until late in August.

Manitoba, the Land that Never Stop Providing

We could go on and on for pages about all the excellent fishing opportunities available to anglers in Manitoba, but we just don’t have enough space. Some of the other worthy areas of Manitoba that are worth fishing include God’s Lake, Athapapuskow Lake, and Kississing Lake which are all full of Northern Pike, Lake Trout, and many other popular freshwater species.

If you have time, venture out and try your luck fishing the shores of Hudson Bay or Churchill River for large Northern Pike, Yellow Perch, Sauger, Walleye, and much more. 

For those looking for the ultimate Canadian fishing adventure, why not check out one of the many fishing lodges located throughout Manitoba. It’s a fantastic way to combine the beautiful scenery of Manitoba with some of the world’s best freshwater fishing. However, be sure to book early if you’re planning a summer fishing trip to Manitoba, as bookings fill up quickly.

Fishing Techniques and Tips

Now that you know what you can catch in Manitoba and, more importantly, where to catch them, it’s time to focus on how you’re going to catch them. Fortunately, when it comes to catching fish in Manitoba, CA, you have various excellent options.

Guide Fishing in Manitoba

If you’re not familiar with the area you’re planning on fishing or your target species, then hiring a guide to help you is a tried-and-true method. Your guide will not only know what’s biting, but the best place to catch them and the most effective way to get those fish in your hands.

Hiring a guide is especially important if you’re fishing in remote areas around Manitoba. While offering largely uninterrupted fishing in beautiful locations, fishing in the remote areas of Manitoba often requires a lot of planning, including organizing flights into some locations.

Regardless of where you’re fishing, an hour from Manitoba or a day, hiring a guide is a great way to ensure you get the best chance of catching your target species.

Shore Fishing in Manitoba

If you prefer a low-tech and low-budget fishing adventure, Manitoba offers a variety of shore fishing opportunities for anglers who prefer walking the edges of the many lakes, rivers, and streams scattered throughout the province.

All you’ll need for a successful day of shore fishing in Manitoba is a valid fishing license, fishing tackle, and some nice weather. However, shore fishing does come with some limitations. While there are a lot of lakes, rivers, and streams within close distance or a day’s drive, some of the more pristine wilderness areas will require you to fly in and out of.

Ice Fishing in Manitoba

We can’t mention fishing in Manitoba without talking about the fantastic winter ice fishing, especially in the northern parts of the province. Once the cold weather settles in and the ice on the many lakes starts freezing over, it’s time to get your ice fishing equipment and warm-weather clothing out of storage.

Once the ice is thick enough to safely fish on, which is around mid-December in Manitoba, it’s the perfect opportunity to try this winter pastime. However, if you’re not familiar with ice fishing or unfamiliar with the lake and the thickness of the ice, working with a guide is the safest and most effective way to try ice fishing for yourself.

Read also: Alaska Fishing Seasons: Your Comprehensive Guide

Manitoba Fishing Guide – Conclusion

Thanks to this comprehensive Manitoba fishing guide, now you’ll have a much better idea about the most popular Manitoba fish species, the top fishing spots in Manitoba, and the best fishing techniques and tips for turning your next Manitoba fishing adventure into a success. If you’ve been searching for your next destination for a fishing trip, why not check out the excellent angling available in Manitoba, Canada?

By being responsible anglers, and following all of the bag limits, opening and closures of seasons, and releasing any fish we don’t need in a healthy and safe way, and leaving the area where we fished as clean as possible, removing any old or tangled line, we’re future-proofing our fisheries. As anglers, we can all do our part to ensure that Tasmania’s excellent fishery stays healthy for many generations to come.

The Fishbox App utilizes advanced technology to track weather conditions in Manitoba accurately and predict the best times to hit the water when planning your fishing excursion in Canada. It combines predictive fish behavior with the weather, lunar, and tidal conditions to deliver optimal fishing opportunities in Manitoba, CA, regardless of when you’re going fishing or where.

Get your personalized fishing map

Answer a quick quiz and get your own personalized fishing map

The Fishbox App was developed in collaboration with accurate weather data and expert fish behavioral analysis from a team of dedicated angling enthusiasts. These advanced forecasts will significantly increase your catch rate while reducing your time on the water. Take your fishing to the next level thanks to the expert advice from the Fishbox App team.

If you’re a local Manitoba angler and would like to share some of your local knowledge and experience with other anglers considering fishing in Manitoba, drop a comment below! We’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback, and we’re sure other anglers will appreciate some local advice and recommendations.

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