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Ashley Rae: 10 Fishing Tips for New Anglers

Do you know your bait from your lure? Multi-species angler Ashley Rae (of She Loves To Fish) shares 10 tips for new anglers.

a woman holding a fish while standing on a boat.

1 – Licensing and Regulations

The first step before heading out on the water is ensuring you are licensed to fish, along with reviewing the Ontario Fishing regulations so you’re familiar with which fish species are in season, catch limits, along with any species and areas that are off limits. If you fish without a valid fishing license or do not follow the Ontario Fishing Regulations, this can result in being fined. To learn more about fishing licenses and the fishing regulations in Ontario, visit:

2 – Safety Requirements for Watercraft

If you’re heading on the water via a human-powered watercraft or motorized watercraft, Transport Canada has regulations in place on what safety items are required on board. Be sure you’re ready for your adventure and are up to date with the latest requirements whether you own or are renting watercraft.

3 – Dress For The Conditions

Being prepared for the weather conditions means a more comfortable and safer experience on the water. Ensure you bring applicable clothing to keep cool or warm protecting you from the elements. I also never leave home without a hat to help with sun protection and glare, as well as polarized sunglasses (which also offer eye protection). If you’re fishing from any type of watercraft, don’t forget your PFD. When children are near the water (even from shore) PFD’s are always a good idea.

4 – Learn About and Target Specific Fish Species

The Bay of Quinte is home to a variety of fish species providing year-round angling opportunities. Take the time to learn about specific fish species, such as: what type of areas they can be found in seasonally, what they eat, and what type of lures, presentations, and equipment is used. This can narrow down your search and can drastically increase your success rate.

5 – Get Out With Friends or Family

Spending time on the water with someone who knows the ropes can provide some great insight on fishing. Not to mention, it is a great way to make memories.

6 – Hire A Fishing Guide

As a fishing guide myself, I can tell you that the goal of a guide is to help you learn as much as possible during your outing, and to help you catch fish. Guides have extensive knowledge gained over years and years of practice, and provide you the opportunity to soak up all that information and take it with you on future outings.

7 – Fish Care

New anglers are often intimidated by learning to hold a fish for the first time, especially species with teeth. Learn how to handle various fish species in advance so that you can ensure successful catch-and-release if you don’t plan to keep your catch. Have pliers or forceps at the ready so you can quickly remove hooks and your catch won’t be out of water for long.

8 – Scour the Internet for Information

If you have a question about fishing, chances are someone has written an article on the topic, or created a video based on it. Spending time reading blogs, articles, and watching videos on fishing is a great way to learn valuable information that you can put to use on the water. Social networks such as Facebook and Fishbrain have groups focused around specific types of fishing. There are also independent fishing forum websites such as

9 – Get To Know Your Local Tackle Shop

Tackle shops are great places to go for gear and equipment. Staff are often anglers themselves who love to chat and share information to help you catch more fish. With all the anglers they see popping in and buying tackle, they can also offer advice on local fishing recommendations, and usually have the low down on what lures and presentations are popular.

(A note from the BoQ team. Here are a few places to get you started: Quinte Bait, Pro Tackle Fishing and High Falls Outfitters.)

10 – Clubs

There are a variety of types of fishing clubs nowadays from bass tournament clubs, to fly fishing, to kayak fishing, and more. Joining a club is a great way to learn from others, participate in fishing events, as well as a great way to meet likeminded anglers.

a woman holding a fish in a body of water.
a person holding a plastic container filled with different types of fishing lures.
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The Bay of Quinte RMB Land Acknowledgement

The Bay of Quinte Regional Marketing Board is committed to acknowledging, appreciating and understanding the Indigenous peoples’ historic connection to this land and to raising awareness by building relationships in collaboration with Indigenous partners and communities. 

We recognize and acknowledge that we are living and working on the traditional territory of the Wendat, Mississauga, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee which includes the Kenhtè:ke Kanyen’kehá:ka (Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte) with whom we work in direct partnership with. 

This partnership focuses on the common goal of celebrating the region with the Kenhtè:ke Kanyen’kehá:ka who are equal partners within the organization and at the Board of Directors table contributing to the mandate and operations.

This mandate includes listening to, learning from, and collaborating with the Kenhtè:ke Kanyen’kehá:ka and actively incorporating their culture and heritage into the practice of responsible destination marketing and management of the region.

We understand that this land acknowledgement is only a small step towards the larger process of reparations and reconciliation.

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