If you thought there weren’t any good spots to hit up around Saskatoon for some great angling, you’d be wrong! There are a ton of amazing lakes, reservoirs, and access to both the North Saskatchewan and South Saskatchewan Rivers less than two hours from the city. Many lakes are located near Regional or Provincial Parks, which makes it easy to extend your stay and explore the area. From bustling hotspots to best kept secret spots, sparkling fresh water to saline lakes, Saskatchewan really is an angler’s paradise.
You may want to check out: Fishing Regulations in Saskatchewan
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1. North Saskatchewan River
If you’ve never fished the might North Saskatchewan River, you’re in for a real treat. There are many access points throughout the province, but one of the best spots (and easiest to access) is going to be at the Petrofka Bridge. The bridge is located about half an hour northeast of Saskatoon. If you’re travelling from the city, there is a turn off right after the bridge on the right hand side, and a dirt road you can follow down to park and access the shore. Just be aware that the river is sometimes higher than at other times and of course, is always flowing fast.
There are many different species of fish that can be caught in the North Saskatchewan. Sturgeon is one of the most popular to fish for. Sturgeon are catch and release only, but catching one is quite an experience. Of course, all the other species are fun to fish for as well! Pike, walleye, burbot, goldeye, and suckers can all be caught quite regularly. Generally, the best bet for fishing the river at this location is with pickerel rigs, bait, and heavier weights to combat the river’s current. A heavier weight rod, especially if fishing for sturgeon, is a good idea.
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Check out this beast on opening day! Mike hooked into this lake sturgeon late in the afternoon and it did not disappoint! It put up a good fight and is a very nice looking fish. We got a quick measurement and weighed it in the cradle. 51" long and 41lbs. This was a great way to end opening day and will be tough to beat for the rest of the year. #fishing #fishingsaskatchewan #fishingcanada #shimano #yxe #306 #sask #saskatoon #saskatchewan #nature #outdoors #outdoorsman #lakesturgeon #riverlife #river #riverfishing #sturgeon #fish #bigfish #cradle #catchandrelease
2. Blackstrap Lake
Blackstrap Lake is a popular hot spot, as it’s only a forty-minute drive south from Saskatoon’s city limits.
While that can mean that there is heavier pressure on the lake, there are always spots that you can find to escape the leisure crowd. Many people go for water sports and just to boat for the day. There is still some great fishing that can be done and the lake produces some quality fish.
If you overshoot the turn to the lake, there is a left hand turn off the highway. Turning off there, there’s a road that runs past the lake and makes for some great, more private shore fishing away from the more public and popular areas. If you’re looking to fish from the lake, there is one boat launch on the lake.
Walleye, pike, and perch are the most popular species of fish in the lake. Try fishing with pickerel rigs, bait and weights, or try jigging.
3. South Saskatchewan River
If you’re looking to fish the South Saskatchewan River, there are plenty of access points right in Saskatoon. The river is a favourite spot for many locals, as the quality of fish that can be caught is quite exciting. Take care, as the river can sometimes be high and fast-flowing, depending on the time of year and weather. The banks might also be steep, so use caution.
Walleye up to ten pounds have been known to be caught in the river. Sturgeon is also another favourite (they are catch and release only). Pike and goldeye are often plentiful as well. Try pickerel rigs, jigs, or other bait and weight combinations in the river.
4. Pike Lake
Pike Lake is only a half an hour drive southwest from Saskatoon. The lake does experience more fishing pressure because of its proximity to the city, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t still have a fun day out at the lake. If you are looking for the boat launch, the official address is Lakeside Drive in Vanscoy. There is a restriction on the lake and motors over 10HP are prohibited. The lake is quite small, but it’s a great beginner fishing lake or a great experience if you’re just looking to have fun. Pike fishing is probably the most notable fishing on the lake and usually, multiple fish can be caught in an afternoon or an evening. The Pike Lake Provincial Park is beautiful and offers a ton of fun recreational activities for the whole family as well.
5. Wakaw Lake
Wakaw Lake can see some heavier fishing pressure as it’s quite a popular lake. There are quite a few cabins on the lake and the campgrounds can also see a lot of action in the warmer months. The lake features a beautiful beach near the campground and is a great lake for water sports. If you’re an avid angler, you might be a little disappointed fishing Wakaw, but that’s not always the case. If you’re willing to put in some hard work and spend some time learning the lake, you can actually have quite a successful day fishing. The lake is quite beautiful and is only an hour northeast of Saskatoon. The town of Wakaw is right near the lake, which makes it quite convenient for camping or longer stays.
The most popular species in the lake are walleye, perch, and pike. It’s not unheard of to fish with a pickerel rig and catch multiple fish in one shot. Jigging, using bait, floats, and weights will probably produce the best results. There is a public boat launch on the lake located in the Regional Park.
6. Lake Diefenbaker
Fishing Lake Diefenbaker might be a little bit intimidating if it’s your first time. At 430 square kilometres, the lake is huge. There are literally hundreds of bays and different areas to explore. There are two parks on the lake- Danielson Provincial Park and Douglas Provincial Park. Douglas has one boat launch, while Danielson has two. Because the lake is so huge, it is also very diverse and is home to many different species of fish. Lake Diefenbaker is truly a world-class fishing destination that has produced record-breaking and monster-sized fish. If you aren’t sure where to start, consider hiring a guide or taking advantage of a chartered fishing service.
Lake Diefenbaker is home to many different species of fish. Walleye, pike, sauger, perch, whitefish, burbot, goldeye, rainbow trout, and lake trout are the main species that people fish for. Many anglers love fishing Coteau Bay, or they try their luck around Gardiner Dam. The lake is vast, so if you’re not sure where to start, consider taking a guide with you to put you on some of the lake’s best fishing spots.
7. Emerald Lake
Located an hour and a half north of Saskatoon by Leask, Emerald Lake is one of the province’s true gems. The spring-fed lake is gorgeous and clear. Emerald Lake Regional Park offers so much more than just fishing and is a great place to vacation or to take the family out for a day away. The park has camping, three playgrounds, a golf course, kayak rentals, concessions, cabins available for rent, and the boat launch.
Emerald Lake is best known for its sparkling clear waters. Walleye and pike fishermen will be delighted. The lake does support a good population of walleye, and the pike fishing is known to be excellent.
8. Struthers Lake
There isn’t anything wrong with exploring off the beaten path. Struthers Lake might not be the first lake that comes to mind when you think about fishing in and around Saskatoon, but it’s a great place if you’re looking to escape with the family or do some quiet fishing on a lake that sees far lower traffic than some of the better-known lakes in the area. Struthers Lake Regional Park is located an hour and a half northeast of Saskatoon. The park is located 28km from Kinistino. The park features several cabins for rent, a concession, playground, beautiful hiking trails, mini-golf, excellent bird watching, and the beautiful Struthers Lake, which is perfect for angling, swimming, boating, and watersports. The park has a boat launch and two docks- one for launching and one that you can fish from.
The main species of fish found in the lake are walleye, pike, and suckers. Struthers Lake is a great lake for beginner anglers or those just looking to spend a quiet day away from the city.
9. Nesland Lake
If you’re looking for that perfect spot to fish for trout not far from Saskatoon, you’re in luck! Nesland Lake is an incredible lake and is located just an hour and a half north of Saskatoon, and just over twenty minutes west of Shellbrook. Not only is it scenic and beautiful, but there is also a varied population of fish in the lake.
Rainbow trout, brown trout, and tiger trout are all stocked in Nesland Lake. The pike fishing is also quite decent. If you’ve always wanted to try fly fishing, down rigging, or other methods of trout fishing, this is the perfect lake to practice on.
10. Murray Lake
Murray Lake is another body of water that you might not immediately think of to fish. The lake is located just under two hours from Saskatoon, about half an hour to fifty minutes north of North Battleford, depending on where you would like to access the lake. The boat launch is in Cochin. Murray Lake might take some patience to fish and find all the hot spots, but if you have some patience, the lake is beautiful and tends to be quite as far as traffic goes, so it’s a nice spot to get away. It’s also close to Jackfish Lake, so you might want to try your luck there as well.
Pike and walleye are the popular species in Murray Lake. Jigging with bait is always a good option in the deeper areas for walleye, and trolling or casting into the shallower areas with many different types of bait or lures will usually produce good results with pike.
11. Memorial Lake
Memorial Lake is a beautiful lake to escape to and it’s a great lake to fish if you’re okay with fishing the usual Saskatchewan trifecta of walleye, perch, and pike. It’s a great lake to learn on, or if you’re just angling for fun and not a serious sport fisher, you should have a great day on the water.
12. Borden Bridge
If you’re looking for another exciting spot to fish the North Saskatchewan River, the Borden Bridge is one of those well-kept secrets that won’t disappoint. Generally, there are access roads or pull-offs before or after the bridge so you can park and walk down to the river’s banks. The North Saskatchewan River is a mighty river and depending on the time of year and the weather, the river could be swollen or high, so use caution and common sense. The bridge is located by Borden, past Langham, thirty-five minutes northwest of Saskatoon.
There are many different species of fish in the river, but pike, walleye, goldeye, and sturgeon are the ones that are most often caught and some of the most exciting species. There is also burbot, sauger, and suckers that can be caught as well. Sturgeon are always catch and release. Try using pickerel rigs or weights and bait combinations. The river’s current is generally flowing fast, so heavier weights and a heavier rod often come in handy.
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First walleye of the year. Caught on a piece of sucker belly. I love river fishing. #fishing #fishingsaskatchewan #fish #fishingcanada #walleye #riverlife #netfishandchill #sask #saskatoon #saskatchewan #yxe #306 #nature #outdoors #outdoorsman #fishsaskatchewan #caughtandreleased #catchandrelease
13. Emma Lake
Emma Lake is two hours north of Saskatoon. It’s 45km north of Prince Albert and 5km from Christopher Lake. The lake is popular for its clear waters and is located just south of the Prince Albert National Park. Emma Lake Recreation Site boasts a beach, playground, volleyball court, and a park. The boat launch is located right by the campground.
The lake has the usual pike, walleye, and perch. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to catch burbot. There are suckers in the lake too, and even though they generally aren’t good for eating, they are pretty fun to catch.
14. Big Shell Lake
Big Shell Lake is located an hour and a half from Saskatoon, just over fifteen minutes from Shell Lake. There is a quieter campground near the lake that is perfect for extended stays and there are many amenities close by in the village of Shell Lake. There is a public boat launch on the west shore of the lake. The lake is also close to several golf courses, and other lakes, in case you wanted to do some lake hopping and try other bodies of water on an extended trip.
Big Shell Lake is best known for the walleye and pike fishing, but it also offers some decent burbot fishing, which is a nice surprise. Many anglers love catching burbot because they’re an exciting fish that people might not have experienced before.
15. Lake Lenore
Lake Lenore is an hour and a half northeast of Saskatoon. It is just over twenty minutes north of Humboldt and the village of Lake Lenore is just south of the lake. Lake Lenore is actually part of a larger lake basin, the Lenore Lake Basin. These lakes are all quite unique in that they are partly saline lakes. You wouldn’t expect fish to be able to survive let alone thrive in these lakes, but shockingly enough, Lake Lenore actually supports quite a decent fishery. The beach along the lake can be accessed in the village of Lake Lenore, and there is a bird sanctuary along the lake as well.
Walleye, pike, perch, and whitefish can all be found and caught in the lake. The lake is quite a unique experience and it’s always neat to have something to brag about. Catching traditionally freshwater fish in a saline lake is pretty neat. The walleye fishing is said to be excellent.
Anglers in Saskatchewan may want to check out iFish Sask.