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With so much gear available on the market, getting started in hunting and fishing may seem complicated. Where do you start? What will you really need once you’re out there in the wild? In this article, Michel Therrien from Chasse Québec answers those questions and offers a list of essentials you’ll need before heading out for the first time. 

Michel went to his local Canadian Tire’s hunting and fishing department to stock up on the basics. He needed to equip the six parent-teen teams participating in the first ever “Week-end initiation de la relève.” The aim of this three-day event, which took place last September at Pourvoirie du MilieuThis link will open in a new window in Lanaudière, was for the participants to develop their hunting and fishing skills with the help of seasoned Chasse Québec guides. 

1 – Hunting starter kit

 

The gear you need to start hunting will depend on the game you’re after. In this event, participants were learning to hunt ruffed grouse (partridge). Here’s what they needed:   

2 – Fishing starter kit

 

 

Fishing is a great way to enjoy the great outdoors—especially in Quebec, with all its many lakes and rivers. Some say all you need is a rod and a worm! While it’s true that you can fish with minimal gear, a well-equipped, versatile tackle box requires a few essentials, whatever species you’re after.

  • Tackle boxThis link will open in a new window: There are many models on the market, and prices vary based on the number of trays and storage compartments. For our participants, we opted for a three-tray model, which is practical, compact and lightweight. It also gives you plenty of room to add more tackle as you grow with the sport over the years, making it a sustainable option as well! Two anglers can easily share this box—that means less gear in the boat.   
     

  • Fishing rodThis link will open in a new window: Choice is not an issue when you walk down the rod aisle at Canadian Tire! Closed or open reel, line gauge, rod size: all these elements must be considered, depending on the species you want to fish. For our participants, we chose a versatile rod model, already fitted with an open reel. This will help them learn the basics while offering good value for money.  
     

  • Landing netThis link will open in a new window: You don’t want to lose that feisty catch! That’s why we recommend getting a good fishing net with a telescopic handle. The size of the net and mesh holes are determined by the size of the fish you’re hoping to catch. The lakes at Pourvoirie du Milieu are home to pike, walleye and brook trout. This type of net proved to be a good option for all these species. 
     

  • Good fillet knifeThis link will open in a new window: Any angler will tell you: nothing beats cooking your catch after a day on the water! And what better way to end a fishing trip than by filleting your daily quota. To ensure a quick and clean job every time, choose a lightweight knife that’s easy to handle and comes with a sharpener!  
     

  • PliersThis link will open in a new window: If you’ve got the right bait at the end of your line, there’s no doubt that the fish will want to swallow it whole! To make life easier (and keep your patience intact!) get a pair of pliers that will allow you to unhook your catch while minimizing injuries. 
     

  • Container or fish chain stringer to bring home your catch: A cooler, a Canadian Tire bucket or a fish chain are different ways to transport your fresh catch and keep it cool, whatever the temperature outside.  
     

  • Lures: Your outfitter is in the best position to tell you what works best in their lakes. When booking your stay, don’t hesitate to ask them what colours work best for the species and lake you’ll be exploring. This will help you make the right purchases. During the “Week-end de la relève,” Sébastien recommended blue and red, which worked very well on his territory. 

With these suggestions in mind, here’s what we chose to put in the participants’ tackle boxes...   
 

For walleye and pike

For trout:  
 

 

Finally, no matter what species you’re after, we suggest having a good supply of the following items:   

You’ll also need a wire cutter or pair of scissors to remove excess line after tying your knots. A nail clipper or pocketknife will also do the trick! 

Finally, when you’re engaging in water sports, don’t forget your personal flotation device. Canadian Tire has a full wall of comfortable models, from self-inflating, belts and traditional vests. With so many choices suited to your favourite activities, there’s no reason not to wear one!  

All this is proof that you can have a great time in the great outdoors without spending a fortune—and be well equipped for a variety of hunting and fishing trips. Still on the fence? The staff at your local Canadian Tire’s hunting and fishing department can guide you in purchasing all the essentials. Don’t hesitate to ask for their help! While you’re there, don’t forget to get your hunting and fishing licences . . . and a container of worms. Then you’re all set to enjoy your new hobby! 

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