This sport began as a way of catching food, and though it has become a sport, and it's one where you eat what you win (except for "catch & release" fishing)! The concept behind fishing is that you attach either bait or a lure to a line attached to a fishing rod, and the fish will eventually (hopefully) think its food, swallow the bait, get hooked, and you get to reel the fish in. Fishing is a relaxing sport (and requires or teaches patience), helps you to unwind, and you can enjoy your natural surroundings--at least until a fish bites.
Fishing can be done from shore, from a pier, or from a boat. The choice will depend on where you are and what kind of fish you are seeking. Once you have picked a sport, you need to select your tackle, either using bait on a hook or a lure. After attaching it to your line, you need to place the bait where you think the fish are. This is called casting, and is done by extending the line a bit and flicking the rod behind you and then forward to use inertia to get the tackle far out into the water. You then reel in the tackle, trying to mimic the movements of the animal your bait is trying to mimic.
Another popular variant on fishing is ice fishing, where you fish through a hole in the ice (often protected by a heated hut or a tent). This usually uses a shorter rod, and is popular in many parts of the country where longer winters create thick ice giving access to deepwater fishing spots to all.
It is considered sportsmanlike practice to keep only those fish you plan to eat. Return the rest for others to catch. Please respect the environment, by not littering, and by not being overly noisy. You should also make sure you comply with provincial regulations regarding fishing seasons, required permits (more on this later)
In order to go fishing you need a rod & reel and some basic tackle. There are several kinds of rod & reel for either spincasting (best for beginners) or for fly fishing. You can buy these separately, or in combination. You need to select your line to suit your fish and your rod & reel, though today monofilament made of a single strand of plastic is most prevalent. The "terminal tackle" at the fish catching end of the line may include any of a number of elements: the hook for bait or a lure, a snap swivel (particularly when using spinning lures), a sinker (to hold the hook down), a bobber (to keep it up, say above weeds). You will also need a tackle box, needlenose pliers, nail clippers, a bucket, a net (for landing the caught fish), and optionally a camera.
The choice of bait or lures depends on what you're fishing for, the time of year, your fishing philosophy, and sometimes local rules. Typical live bait includes earthworms, minnows and assorted garden "crawlers." Lures tend to be more expensive, but present several advantages: they are durable, you can pre-pack a variety to suit any fishing excursion and they are heavier making it easier to cast in windy conditions. Some of the accessories to help make your fishing trip safer and more fun include: hats (for shade), sunscreen, insect repellent, life jackets (absolutely when fishing from a boat, but also for kids along the shore), a first aid kit, and waterproof boots or waders.
Saskatchewan Fishing Rules
In Saskatchewan you can fish with any of: hook & line, bow & arrow, or underwater spear (note: the bow & arrow is deemed to be a firearm and cannot be used or possessed in a provincial or regional park or recreation area). Angling licences can be bought from authorized vendors across the province. Permits must be carried at all times when angling, and must be produced for a conservation or RCMP officer. Those under age 16 and native Indians do not require a fishing licence. You can now order these licences online. Saskatchewan Angling Licences are NOT VALID in national parks.
3 day $12, annual $25, senior annual $10.70
3 day $20, annual $40
3 day $25, annual $50
Licences need a Lac La Ronge endorsement, at no extra cost, if you are fishing on that lake.
Licences for fishing in our National Parks can be purchased at park information centres, administration, campgrounds, wardens offices and some fishing shops. The cost is $13 per year, or $6 for a seven day permit for all persons.
The North Saskatchewan, South Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan rivers, as well as all
of the area's lakes and reservoirs are great for catching Northern Pike, Walleye,
Perch, Lake Whitefish, Lake Trout, Splake, Rainbow Trout, Brook Trout.
Please note that there are several lakes that are designated Catch & Release Only (more details). On these waters, you should crimp or remove the barbs on your fish hooks to make them easier to remove and minimize fish mortalities. Also note that provincial fishing seasons vary depending on where the waters are, since the province is dividing into southern, central and northern zones (which affects when waters are ice-free) Pretty well the portion of the province from Prince Albert south is in the "southern" zone.