Enjoy the experience of sea fishing in Gaspésie from a wharf or on a beach! Here is information about the four main fished species (striped bass, plaice, mackerel and capelin) as well as other practical information about recreational saltwater fishing in Gaspésie.
First, you should know that sea fishing doesn’t require the purchase of a fishing licence. It’s a fun and free activity that brings people together in our region: you’ll grin from ear to ear as you hook a fish out of the water—and you can be sure that others will share your joy!
Striped bass is a delicious white fish that’s abundant in the salt waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Highly combative, it’s a prized catch among recreational fishers. To preserve this species, the daily catch limit is set at 3 and only fish that are 50 cm to 65 cm in length can be kept. Anglers must use single hooks only (up to three per line) with artificial lures. (Natural bait is forbidden.)
At rising tide, you can fish for striped bass from the beach. Some beaches are particularly popular sites for this type of fishing, including those found in Carleton-sur-Mer, Caplan, Saint-Siméon, Bonaventure, Percé and Gaspé (Haldimand and Boom Defense).
For more information about fishing for striped bass, read our blog post about it.
Fishing in Carleton-sur-Mer. Photo: Dany Vachon
Plaice is a groundfish that can be caught from a wharf or aboard a boat. Earthworms, raw clams or sea worms (nereis) can all be used to fish for plaice. The white flesh of this flatfish is delicious! The daily catch limit is 15 plaice per person.
If you hit a shoal of mackerel, you may be able to catch loads of this fish in a short period of time! Hang a series of hooks on your line and you can reel in several fish at once. With a little help, children will be delighted with the experience of hauling up to six wriggling fish at a time!
The daily catch limit for mackerel is 20 per person, except for a few places such as Forillon, where the limit is 10. Only mackerel that are longer than 26.8 cm may be kept. In addition, it’s prohibited to fish for mackerel with more than five fishing lines at a time or more than six hooks on a line.
Fishing in Percé. Photo: Tourisme Gaspésie
Have you ever heard of capelin “rolling” on the beach? These small silvery fish are accustomed to following the waves and “roll” in schools onto the beach during spawning season. In Gaspésie, you can observe this unique phenomenon in May and June; however, you’ll need to be at the right place at the right time, since the capelin roll only lasts a few days. Visit ecapelin.ca to see where others have observed this phenomenon (or submit your own data).
During the capelin roll, the fish are usually harvested by hand with a bucket, without any fishing gear. They can be caught and kept without restrictions on size or quantity.
Many locals enjoy fishing from the village wharves, which means these are also great places to strike up conversations! Here’s a list of the municipalities in Gaspésie where you can enjoy recreational fishing from a wharf.
- La Martre
- Grande-Grave (Forillon National Park)
Forillon National Park. Photo: Tourisme Gaspésie
Rules and regulations
The rules and regulations concerning fishing periods, the number of catches allowed per sector and the types of hooks to be used vary from one species to the next and are updated regularly. Before you go fishing, make sure you’re well informed about the regulations in effect. Here are a few links to consult:
Photo: Mathieu Dupuis
Sea fishing excursions
Several companies offer guided sea excursions to go fishing for striped bass and other species (including plaice and mackerel). To find out more, visit our “Fishing in Gaspésie” page.
Enjoy the experience of sea fishing in Gaspésie from a wharf or on a beach!