From the peaks of the Rocky Mountains to the eastern prairies, Alberta is littered with hundreds of productive fishing lakes that offer an amazing variety of angling experiences. From easy-to-access, family-friendly lakes in the south of the province to the remote and rugged waterbodies of the north, there is a lake for every type of angler in Alberta. To give you an overview of some of our favourite lakes to fish in the province, and to get you excited to head out on an angling adventure of your own, we’ve put together a list of Alberta’s best fishing lakes:
Calling Lake is a popular recreation lake located 55 km north of Athabasca. While the lake’s sandy shoreline attracts many a beachgoer, anglers in the know flock here for excellent fishing for perch, northern pike and walleye. Northern pike are known to reach 7 kg (15 lb), and big walleye are plentiful in the lake’s deeper waters. While you will likely see a lot of boats anchored near the provincial park at the lake’s south shore on a good fishing day, heading out and exploring a bit further will be worth the extra effort.
Not only is Cold Lake one of the larger lakes in Alberta, at 540 km2 (210 mi2),and is also one of the province’s most diverse when it comes to fishing, with 22 species of sportfish including walleye, northern pike, perch, lake trout and whitefish. The big waters allow these fish to reach enormous sizes, with walleye growing up to 6 kg (14 lb) and pike reaching 14 kg (30 lb). The provincial record lake trout was even caught here weighing in at 23.6 kg (52 lb). While this is undoubtedly one of Alberta’s best fishing lakes, watch out for the kinosoo, a lake monster that inhabits these waters according to Dene legend.
Found in the heart of Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, these lakes offer some of Alberta’s most exciting trout fishing amid one of the province’s most beautiful settings. Upper and Lower Kananaskis Lakes both hold bull trout, cutthroat and rainbows, with Lower Kananaskis lake usually holding the larger fish. Alberta’s provincial record bull trout was even taken from Lower Kananaskis Lake, weighing in at a whopping 8.14 kg (17 lb, 15 oz). With easy-access camping found all along the lakes’ shores, there is no reason not to stay for a night or two beneath the towering Rocky Mountain peaks and get the most out of some of Alberta’s best fishing lakes.
This large, murky lake is found east of Banff and is considered one of Alberta’s best fishing lakes when it comes to trophy lake trout. These monsters can get up to 20 kg (45 lb), with bull trout reaching 4 kg (8 lb) and rainbow reaching 1.5 kg (2 lb) as well. While this is a catch-and-release fishery, the thrill of pulling out a lunker lake trout anywhere close to that size will be well worth it. Minnie is known to produce some jumbo Rocky Mountain whitefish, as well.
Located just south of Brooks, this is the largest man-made lake in Southern Alberta and is home to some huge pike, with some of these brutes rumored to reach 14 kg (30 lb). There are also anglers who will heap praise on this lake’s walleye fishery, and for good reason, with 3-4.5 kg (7-10 lb) walleyes found here in good numbers. You will probably have the best luck on Lake Newell with a boat, but big pike have been pulled in by shore fishing from near the end of the breakwater as well.
Nestled among the breathtaking mountains of Jasper National Park, Maligne Lake offers plenty of opportunities to catch huge rainbow and brook trout along its 22 km (14 mi) length. Alberta’s provincial record rainbow was pulled from here, weighing in at 9.1 kg (20 lb, 4 oz), and while you will want a boat to find anything close to that size, shore fishing can be productive as well. The excellent angling combined with the surreal Rocky Mountain scenery makes this one of Alberta’s best fishing lakes.
The Oldman Reservoir was created by the Three River Dam, which flooded some very productive farmland and, in turn, made some very nutrient rich waters that see fish grow to nice sizes. Trout are the main target here, with rainbow regularly reaching 40 cm (15 in) in size, bull trout and cutthroat weighing up to 2 kg (4 lb) and brown trout getting up to 2.5 kg (5 lb). While shore fishing can be productive, trolling is probably your best for pulling out some of the bigger fish.
This large Northern Alberta lake is a popular fishing destination thanks to its huge lake trout, which are known to reach 12.5 kg (30 lb) in size. Good camping is found on the lakeshore and northern pike, walleye, yellow perch and whitefish round out the fishery here, making this an attractive spot for anyone wishing to sample one of Alberta’s best fishing lakes. A good bet for snagging a monster lake trout is to use a big silver or blue or plain silver spoon, as these resemble the whitefish and tullibee that the lakers love to feed on.
Pigeon Lake is easily accessible from both Red Deer and Edmonton and is known to produce some of the most consistent walleye fishing in the province. In fact, there are regular reports of anglers catching and releasing up to 60 walleye in a day in this large, shallow lake. If you prefer to keep your catch, there are good numbers of lake whitefish to target here with a 10 fish retention limit currently in effect, while burbot and northern pike offer additional catch-and-release thrills.
Located in the appropriately named Lakeland Provincial Rec Area, Pinehurst Lake is known for producing some large northern pike along with walleye, yellow perch, whitefish and burbot. While the winds can get quite strong on this large lake, particularly at its southeast end, the excellent angling more than makes up for it.
Fed by the Little Bow River and Lake McGregor, the Travers Reservoir is a large, deep waterbody that holds a lot of fish. Walleye and pike are the main attraction here and can reach some huge sizes, with perch and burbot rounding out the impressive fishery. Fishing close to the Little Bow River or Lake McGregor can often yield the most productive results, but there is plenty more water to explore in between.
Easily accessed from Edmonton via Highway 16, Wabamun Lake is well known for its productive pike and walleye fisheries. This is a big lake that produces big fish, with northern pike reaching 14 kg (30 lb), along with whitefish up to 2 kg (5 lb) and perch up to 1 kg (2 lb). The walleye are supplemented with an intensive stocking program, and it is not uncommon to catch a half dozen of these fish within an hour or two of angling. Wabamun Lake Provincial Park offers camping right on the lakeshore, so you can easily spend a couple of days here and get your fill of angling excitement at one of Alberta’s best fishing lakes.
We hope we have whetted your thirst for some fine Alberta lake fishing! You can find your way to these and many more of Alberta’s best fishing lakes with the help of our Alberta Backroad Mapbooks and GPS Maps! Along with our industry-leading cartographic detail, you will also find detailed Adventure write-ups for hundreds of lakes and rivers including access, stocking information, special regulations and more.
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