Free fishing for a week in Ontario

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If you have never gone fishing, but have always wanted to try, this coming week might be the best time.

From July 3 to 11, the Ontario government is allowing license-free fishing.

The boardwalk in downtown Sault Ste. Marie often attracts urban anglers, who cast their lines from the banks of the St. Mary’s River. Stephen Meating, co-owner of Joe’s Sports on Queen Street East, says sales have been brisk in the fishing gear department. He’s noticed an uptick in first-time anglers coming through the doors.

“The river seems to be a big hit,” says Meating. “New guys looking to get to the river. It’s easy, you don’t need a boat, it’s a walk-to destination, so it makes it a lot easier for entry level.”

Meating says the pandemic has not dampened sales at all. In fact, he says their online sales have been especially robust, and he’s been seeing orders coming in from out of town.

“We just had three orders go out today with regards to out-of-town orders - London, Kingston, and one to Quebec.”

Outside of July 3 to 11, anglers between 18 and 65 require a fishing license and outdoors card. Veterans and active Canadian forces members, on the other hand, do not require a license to fish.