Learning to Fish for Cod in Battle Harbour

For centuries people have travelled to and around Labrador, lured by the richness of the pure and pristine wilderness and the bountiful sea. Nowadays, you can plan you own adventure trip to a remote island in the Labrador Sea, where cod is still king, and you'll have the opportunity to catch your very own.

Coastal regions of Labrador are well known for their short summers marked by the annual return of migratory seabirds, whales, icebergs, and the cod fish. The historic island community of Battle Harbour National Historic District, off Labrador’s Expedition 51o highway via Mary’s Harbour, was once considered the unofficial capital of Labrador, and the salt cod capital of the world. 

Battle Harbour, Labrador

Battle Harbour is a living museum that showcases an abundance of authentic tools of the fish trade, all housed in centuries-old historic buildings. If you want to spend the night, you can soak up the solitude in one of the modern ensuite accommodations. With a variety of cottages to chose from, you can also claim to having slept in one of only a few National Historic buildings in Canada. In a place without streetlights, the starry sky will illuminate your stay.

Operated by a charitable Historic Trust and hosted by salt-of-the-earth locals who love to tell their childhood stories of growing up around the Labrador fishery, the colourful characters and history of this special National Historic District comes alive each summer for visitors. A vacation escape in August promises the best opportunity to catch cod in the seasonal Newfoundland and Labrador recreational cod fishery. 

It starts with a short boat ride followed by hours of fishing and the endless thrill of the catch. Your guide will teach you all the tricks of the trade so that you're likely to catch your very own prize fish.

Depending on the time of year, you might even spot a whale or two. 

With the day done, and the salty sea air still clinging to your clothes, you'll head back to the nostalgic mercantile waterfront to filet and prepare your fish to carry home. With deft hands, your guide will demonstrate the art of filleting the cod, with movements so quick and skilled they make it look easy.

Fishing in Battle Harbour

If you're feeling peckish, you may further enjoy the celebration of your catch with a gourmet dining experience crafted by the recipes of families passed down for generations. Head to the waterfront dining room, where seafood is a popular chef's choice in this space formerly known as the Salmon Store.

Visiting Battle Harbour for the first time? Your hosts say it’s best to keep your rods at home. For a small fee, you can rent the full tackle and guide, and then venture off historic Battle Harbour wharf with your guide, captain and crew. Enjoy your day on the Labrador Sea -- if not for icebergs and whales, to wet a line and catch a cod! 

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