Two children and an adult with life jackets on in a boat fishing.

Angling For a Fresh Meal

Fishing for food can be a fun, family-friendly affair

Food doesn’t get much more local or fresh than when one catches a fish in one of Prince Edward Island’s great fishing holes. It is that time of year when people dig out their rods and reels and head to the waters with the hope of hauling in “the big one”. Even the most inexperienced fisher can have some luck catching their meal, however, there are some important things everyone should know before heading out on an expedition.

Residents and non-residents who wish to fish on PEI are required to have an angling license, with the exception of anyone under the age of 16. The cost of a license is $10 for the year. Additionally, the province issues Courtesy Angling Licenses, free of charge, to people who are 16 to 18 years old, and 60 or older.

A parent is not required to have a license if he/she is assisting their child with fishing and there are the same number of rods being used as there are children fishing. If a family wants to fish, they can get a Family Five-Day Fishing License which allows a family to fish for five consecutive days. These licenses are not available until the first of May.

Close-up of fish

Photo Credit: Steve Jorden

In addition to having an angling license, all anglers must also have a Wildlife Conservation Fund License, which costs $20 or $13 for seniors aged 65 and older. Children under the age of 16 are not required to have this license and families who get a Family Five-Day Fishing License only have to pay $5 for their conservation license.

Fishing and conservation licenses can be purchased at numerous locations across PEI. A full list can be found online at The site also provides a full list of the specific fish you can catch, which rivers (or sections of rivers) you can or cannot access for fishing, and the specific dates when fishing is allowed in each river.

To make your fishing experience as enjoyable as possible, consider taking the following items with you:

  • All required licenses and a photo ID – just in case a conservancy officer wants to check in on you.
  • Rod and reel – this seems obvious, but sometimes it’s easy to overlook the obvious and not realize you’ve forgotten the most important tool you need for a great fishing experience.
  • Bait – live or rubber worms, flies, etc., will help you bring in a beauty.
  • A tackle box – containing extra line, extra hooks, bobbers, sinkers, lures, needle-nose pliers, scissors/snips. A bad cast could mean a line in the brush and sometimes it is necessary to just cut the line and start with a new hook. Fishers are encouraged, however, to make every attempt possible to retrieve any line whenever possible so as not to endanger any wildlife.
  • A net – sometimes a little help bringing the fish onto shore is necessary.
  • A container – to put your catches in.
  • Sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat – sometimes there is very little shade from the sun and there is often a reflection off the water as well, so it is best to stay covered up whenever possible.
  • Bug repellent – Mosquitos and water go hand-in-hand! Too many pests can really spoil an otherwise enjoyable fishing outing.
  • Food and beverages – Fishing takes time, and it’s good to stay both nourished and hydrated. A small cooler with snacks and water will help the time pass without too much belly growls.
  • Proper clothing and footwear – Dress for the weather. Layers are best to stay comfortable as the day heats up or cools down. Good footwear, such as rubber boots or waterproof coveralls, are also essential when fishing PEI waters.

With a few handy tools, the proper licenses, and information about fishing locations on PEI, you’ll be heading home to dine on the freshest fish you’ve ever had. Happy fishing!

For more information about specific fishing locations, seasons, limits, and fish species, please refer to “Go Fishing: Angling Summary 2017” found at

About Grace Kimpinski

Grace's passion to be creative combined with her drive to get things done make her an invaluable member of the Salty team. As the sole-support parent to a teenaged... bottomless-pit... er... son, she strives to be a 'smart' food shopper. Although she's not keen on writing about herself, she is very keen on eating a great BBQ'd meal in summer and a hearty stew in winter.

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