In Québec, different types of bait can be placed on a hook and used to attempt to catch fish. However, there are some restrictions on the use and possession of certain types of bait.

Earthworms, leeches and frogs as bait

Earthworms, leeches and frogs are not considered to be bait fish, and their use as bait is therefore permitted unless otherwise indicated.

When capturing frogs, you must comply with the applicable rules governing frog hunting This hyperlink will open in a new window.. Mainly:

  • You must hold a frog hunting licence that allows the holder to hunt Northern leopard frogs, green frogs and bullfrogs from July 15 to November 15, with no bag limit.
  • Frog hunting is prohibited in zones 17, 19 north and 22 to 24, as well as in wildlife reserves and territories in which all hunting is prohibited.
  • Special rules apply to the keeping of frogs in captivity.

Prohibited bait fish

The term “bait fish” includes fish, mollusks, crustaceans (e.g. shrimp, crayfish), marine animals and the parts (eggs, sperm, roe, spawn, larvae, spat or offspring) of these animals intended for use as fishing bait.

Since April 1, 2017, the use and possession of live bait fish, regardless of species, is prohibited throughout Québec, including during winter fishing periods.

The possession and use of other freshwater fish species from Québec as (dead) bait fish is permitted where fishing is authorized. However, the species listed below cannot be used as dead bait fish.

  • Bass
  • Blueback herring
  • Bowfin
  • Brown bullhead
  • Burbot
  • Channel catfish
  • Char
  • Chinese mitten crab
  • Crucian carp
  • Freshwater drum
  • Goldeye
  • Lake trout
  • Lamprey
  • Longnose gar
  • Malachigan
  • Mooneye
  • Muskellunge
  • Panfish
  • Pike
  • Redhorse
  • Round goby
  • Rudd
  • Rusty crayfish
  • Salmon
  • Sturgeon
  • Stone moroko
  • Tench
  • Trout
  • Walleye
  • White perch
  • Yabby
  • Yellow perch

Use of the following as bait fish is also prohibited:

Possession and use of dead bait fish

The possession and use of dead bait fish (including shrimp) is permitted, but only in certain zones during winter fishing periods.

See the section entitled Particular rules for each zone to see, in your zone:

  • whether or not you may possess or use dead bait fish;
  • which species are authorized for use as dead bait fish;
  • the periods during which this practice is permitted.

Fishing for bait fish

If you wish to fish for bait fish, you must:

  • have a valid sport fishing licence;
  • fishing in the zones and during the periods in which the use of bait fish is permitted;
  • use a lift net or no more than three bait traps, except in zones 17 and 22 to 24 as well as in bodies of water reserved for fly fishing;
  • write your name, address and licence number on bait traps left without immediate supervision;
  • comply with the special possession rules applicable to bait fish.

If one or more other people fish under your licence, the number of lift nets and bait traps used by your group must not exceed the authorized limit for your licence.

Importing bait fish

Importing of live or dead bait fish is prohibited.