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Red River Manitoba Fishing - Master Angler

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One of the best places in the world to catch Channel Catfish

A one of a kind multi-species fishing location making it an anglers paradise

Red River Manitoba Fishing is an anglers paradise. Making it home to Master Angler sized Channel Catfish, huge freshwater Drum, Walleye, Goldeye, Northern Pike and the list goes on. Therefore, if you love fishing and get the chance to visit Manitoba, head on out to the Red River and try your hand at fishing. You never know you just might have a Master Angler sized fish on the other end of your line!

Red River Manitoba Fishing. Photo credit Rene Coatta.

What is the Red River Manitoba Fishing Master Angler Program

The Manitoba Master Angler Program has been around for over 60 years making it home to the oldest master angler program in North America! Last year alone, more than 10,000 trophy fish from 30 qualifying species from lakes and rivers across Manitoba were caught and recorded. The most amazing part is that close to 90% of those fish were released back into the water - we want to let em go so they can grow. I am proud to say that I have been lucky enough to catch two Master Angler Channel Catfish when Red River Fishing in Manitoba!

Hooked one! Photo credit Rene Coatta.
Reeled in a big one on the Red River. Photo credit Rene Coatta.

How exactly does this fishing program work?

There are 30 qualifying game fish that swim in Manitoba waters, with a minimum size length for each species. For example, the minimum size for a Channel Catfish is 34 inches. If you happen to catch a fish that meets the criteria you can then apply for an award by submitting all your catch info to the program. This can all be done through the Master Angler Award website, mobile App, or by an official entry from. I chose to do mine on the App as it was super quick and easy to do! Your catch must be caught in Manitoba and in accordance with provincial angling regulations. This meaning you must have your Manitoba fishing license, adhere to the limits and possessions of the river and by using barbless hooks while fishing. 

Measuring my catch. Photo credit Rene Coatta.

The different types of Manitoba Fishing badges

Every qualifying fish that you catch in Manitoba is honored with a certificate recording your success. A certificate is then mailed out to those anglers who catch and release a trophy size fish. Not only that, you will also receive the Released Badge which is presented to anglers who catch and release their first trophy fish of qualifying size in anyone of the 30 eligible species categories. As well as The Bronze Badge which is awarded to those who catch their first trophy fish of qualifying size again in one of the eligible species categories. It doesn't stop there, you can also earn:

The Silver Badge (The Expert) This badge is awarded to those who catch a qualifying fish from 5 different species of fish.

The Gold Badge (The Grand Master) This badge is awarded to those who catch a qualifying fish from 10 different species of fish.

The Platinum (The Elite) This badge is awarded to those who catch a qualifying fish from 15 different species of fish.

The Diamond (Ultimate Angler) This badge is awarded to those who catch a qualifying fish from 20 different species of fish.

If you have younger anglers who love to fish there is also the L'il Angler Program. This program is geared towards kids 12 and under and encourages novice anglers to get hooked on fishing. When the Lil anglers catch their first fish and fill out the online form, Travel Manitoba then sends them an embroidered crest signifying their first catch as well as a certificate of achievement. This  is such an amazing program and what better way to get your little ones hooked on fishing!

Manitoba Master Angler Certificate. Photo credit Rene Coatta.
Manitoba Canada Master Anglers Release Badge. Photo credit Rene Coatta.

Where to fish on the Red River in Manitoba Canada

There are lots of places to fish along the Red River, one of the most popular being the locks at Lockport. Please make sure you do not trespass or fish anywhere you should not be and always follow the rules and regulations. Please remember the Red River is a fast flowing body of water so always use precaution especially when fishing from shore.

Fishing is for everyone. Photo credit Rene Coatta.
Red River in Manitoba. Photo credit Rene Coatta.

In conclusion

In conclusion people across Canada and the United States visit Manitoba each year to explore the bountiful waters of Manitoba seeking trophy size fish. If you ever get a chance to fish Manitoba waters, make sure you head on down to the Red River. You never know that next cast just might land you a trophy sized Master Angler fish!

Come and fish the Red River in Manitoba

Red River Manitoba Fishing - Master Angler

Location (Map)

Manitoba, Canada
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Comments 16

Andrea Horning on Tuesday, 21 February 2023 19:18

This is amazing! What a neat program and I have always known Manitoba to be great for fishing catfish, but didn't realize the overall size of all the species of fish in general. Thanks for sharing

This is amazing! What a neat program and I have always known Manitoba to be great for fishing catfish, but didn't realize the overall size of all the species of fish in general. Thanks for sharing
Rene Coatta on Wednesday, 22 February 2023 01:32

It is such a cool program and so exciting when you get your package in the mail!! Fishing for catfish is such a thrill!

It is such a cool program and so exciting when you get your package in the mail!! Fishing for catfish is such a thrill!
Diana Mohrsen on Tuesday, 21 February 2023 21:05

Excellent information about this fishing program. One of my favorite drives in Canada is a side road from Selkirk to Winnipeg along the Red River.

Excellent information about this fishing program. One of my favorite drives in Canada is a side road from Selkirk to Winnipeg along the Red River.
Rene Coatta on Wednesday, 22 February 2023 01:31

Thank you so much! I grew up in Manitoba and we used to take that drive out to Selkirk every Sunday!!

Thank you so much! I grew up in Manitoba and we used to take that drive out to Selkirk every Sunday!!
Tourism Nicola Valley - Merritt BC on Wednesday, 22 February 2023 08:08

Very interesting blog Rene. Never knew Manitoba's Red River is home to this many species of fish.

Very interesting blog Rene. Never knew Manitoba's Red River is home to this many species of fish.
EH Canada Marketing Group on Wednesday, 22 February 2023 17:25

Great story Rene Coatta . Great tourny too.

Great story Rene Coatta . Great tourny too.
EH Canada Marketing Group on Thursday, 23 February 2023 17:42

Question? Do you know how big do catfish grow to and how old can they get?

Question? Do you know how big do catfish grow to and how old can they get?
Rene Coatta on Friday, 24 February 2023 00:34

EH Canada Marketing Group Thank you so much!

EH Canada Marketing Group Thank you so much!
Rene Coatta on Friday, 24 February 2023 00:38

EH Canada Marketing Group Maximum life span of a Channel Catfish is 15 years with their average life span being around 10 years. The average channel catfishes length is around 22 inches. In the Red River my biggest was 36 inches, and was quite hefty! I think I read somewhere that the largest one ever was 52 inches!

EH Canada Marketing Group Maximum life span of a Channel Catfish is 15 years with their average life span being around 10 years. The average channel catfishes length is around 22 inches. In the Red River my biggest was 36 inches, and was quite hefty! I think I read somewhere that the largest one ever was 52 inches!
EH Canada Marketing Group on Friday, 24 February 2023 02:50

Rene Coatta Wow that is one big fish. It must take a strong line to reel those in. I had no idea they were a river fish. You learn something every day. Thank you for the education.

Rene Coatta Wow that is one big fish. It must take a strong line to reel those in. I had no idea they were a river fish. You learn something every day. Thank you for the education.
Rene Coatta on Friday, 24 February 2023 18:25

Experience Nicola Valley - Merritt BC Thank you so much! Yes it is pretty amazing all the species of fish just in Manitoba alone!

Experience Nicola Valley - Merritt BC Thank you so much! Yes it is pretty amazing all the species of fish just in Manitoba alone!
Rene Coatta on Friday, 24 February 2023 18:26

EH Canada Marketing Group You are welcome, I love being able to share my fishing knowledge!

EH Canada Marketing Group You are welcome, I love being able to share my fishing knowledge!
Kim Kenyon on Sunday, 26 February 2023 03:08

Learned about lake fishing, the angler program and the different lake fish! Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

Learned about lake fishing, the angler program and the different lake fish! Thank you for sharing your knowledge!
Kim Kenyon on Sunday, 26 February 2023 04:35

When I think of catfish, I think of the southern specialty, Cajun fried catfish, Louisiana and other southern states come to mind. Canada has so many spectacular lakes and rivers and trophy fish that I am curious as to why we do not have (to my knowledge anyway!) a "catfish or lake/river culture" in the way that there is west coast salmon and east coast cod and lobster. Maybe because the emphasis is more on recreational sustainability rather than commercial. The Catfish Kitchen restaurant chain for example, does not have a presence in Canada, or maybe it is simply that I haven't been paying as much attention to other regions!

When I think of catfish, I think of the southern specialty, Cajun fried catfish, Louisiana and other southern states come to mind. Canada has so many spectacular lakes and rivers and trophy fish that I am curious as to why we do not have (to my knowledge anyway!) a "catfish or lake/river culture" in the way that there is west coast salmon and east coast cod and lobster. Maybe because the emphasis is more on recreational sustainability rather than commercial. The Catfish Kitchen restaurant chain for example, does not have a presence in Canada, or maybe it is simply that I haven't been paying as much attention to other regions!
Rene Coatta on Friday, 03 March 2023 23:05

Kim Kenyon That is such a good point, I have often wondered the same sort of thing! Salmon is so big out on the West Coast here but you never hear of the Catfish culture back East.

Kim Kenyon That is such a good point, I have often wondered the same sort of thing! Salmon is so big out on the West Coast here but you never hear of the Catfish culture back East.
Kim Kenyon on Tuesday, 07 March 2023 05:56

Perhaps there is a business opportunity here for all anglers and restaurant admirers. A new restaurant chain, that would also include breakfast items such as pancakes, maple syrup and a bakery too, of course, called -- The Great Lake Fish Fry Cafe (we could fry the fish in dark beer and maple syrup).

Perhaps there is a business opportunity here for all anglers and restaurant admirers. A new restaurant chain, that would also include breakfast items such as pancakes, maple syrup and a bakery too, of course, called -- The Great Lake Fish Fry Cafe (we could fry the fish in dark beer and maple syrup).
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