Five tips for fishing in the Peace River for Dummies

Author: Anne Vos, Peace River Cabins and Outdoors

Anne Vos is a long time resident and business owner in the Peace River Region. She is a passionate advocate for the area that centers around the magnificent Peace River in Northern Alberta, Canada.


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Full disclosure, I am one of the dummies. However we always get questions about fishing at Peace River Cabins and Outdoors so I am going to wade into the topic, and let you nibble on some of the basic facts about fishing in this great river. This is a collection of half- truths, gained from impolite grilling of successful fishermen, anecdotes and general references. Anyone with consistent success catching fish on the Peace is going to lie or avoid your questions to preserve the hard-won secrets that they have gleaned from experience.

ā€‹ā€‹1. Type of fish: According to the Alberta Fishing Guide, the Peace is home to Arctic grayling, burbot (ling cod), goldeye, mountain whitefish, northern pike (jackfish), and walleye (sometimes mistakenly referred to as pickerel). I'm only telling you this because each fish has different habits and therefore require slightly different techniques to catch. Some are bottom feeders, some just eat insects, others eat other fish. You get the idea. The guide will give you more details about each type of fish so you can decide what bait to use. And some taste better than others. The Ling Cod shown in the photo is an incredibly ugly fish that is, in fact, very good eating. The northern pike, while it can get very large, is not so popular for eating due to having lots of bones in the fillet.

2. Water Conditions: Temperature and turbidity are the key factors in fish habits. High, fast, turbid water is harder to catch fish in. These conditions occur in the Peace River at times that are, well, anybody's guess. Generally, the river is fast and high in the spring, after the mountain runoff comes through, or after big rainfalls or whenever the powers that be let water out of the hydro dam at Hudson's Hope. Warm water is not a huge problem on the Peace unless the water is really low and weather really hot for a prolonged period. Generally the river is lower, slower and clearer after the end of July.

3. Time of day: My sources say that the best times to catch fish are during the evening, when the sun is lower in the sky, or when there is a weather change. Not telling you my sources.

4. Location: The general consensus is to fish the top of deep eddies where slow water meets fast water, at the mouths of feeder streams, and the outsides of riverbends. No fisherman will ever tell you where that is.

5. Bait: Again a very secretive topic. Bait seems to be a must for the serious hopeful. Use spoons or not, what I can glean is that any large hardware will catch large jackfish and walleye, but not much else. The spoons catch the fishes' eye, but you might need bait to get them to bite. Minnows, worms, meat or smelly socks, I DON"T KNOW what bait works best. Seems to me that some experimentation would be harmless and even fun.

Hope this gives you a start on fishing in the Peace. The only thing I can be completely confident in advising is that there are fish in the river, and the side effects of fishing, namely deep breathing, smelling unbelievably fresh air, meditation, daydreaming and napping, may provide as good a high as actually catching a fish.

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