Ice fishing is a popular winter activity in and around Montreal. This tradition, inherited from the Amerindians, lets you enjoy the beauty of snow-covered landscapes while teasing fish under the ice.
Whether you're an experienced angler or just curious, Montreal and the surrounding area offer plenty of places to enjoy this seasonal activity.
Among the most popular ice-fishing spots near Montreal is Lake Champlain, just an hour from the city. This body of water is recognized as one of the best in North America for this activity.
In addition, several other options are available, such as the fishing center on the Mille Îles Riverwhere you can catch a variety of fish.
In this article, we'll explore these and other locations to help you plan your next ice fishing trip around Montreal.
Enjoy this unique adventure and discover what this winter activity has to offer!
What is ice fishing?
Ice fishingalso known as ice fishing, is a type of sport fishing practiced in winter on a frozen body of water.
Unlike traditional fishing, ice fishing is done through a hole in the ice, allowing you to reach the fish below the frozen surface.
To go ice fishing, you'll need a certain amount of essential equipment, such as an ice drill to make the hole, and specific fishing rods adapted to this activity (often available for hire on site).
It's important to protect yourself from the cold, as winter temperatures can be extremely low. Wear warm, waterproof clothing, gloves and insulated boots to stay safe and comfortable during your fishing trip.
Ice fishing also requires some knowledge of weather conditions and ice thickness. Make sure the ice is solid enough to support your weight and equipment. And be careful, because the danger of breaking ice is very real.
If it's your first time, opt for the services of an outfitter.
As for the fish you can catch while ice fishing, this depends on the body of water you find yourself in. In Montreal, for example, you may encounter fish such as bass, gold, Pike and well other species who continue to work hard despite the freezing temperatures.
For ice fishing in Montreal, or in nearby regions such as Laval, Outaouais, Oka and Laurentians, you must have a valid fishing licence. You can obtain one online or from an authorized dealer. Don't forget to follow the zone-specific rules to avoid penalties.
Visit ice fishing season usually takes place during the coldest months. For example, the 2022 season began on February 5 in Montreal. However, precise dates vary according to fishing zones and weather conditions.
In Quebec, fishing regulations vary by fishing zone. Each zone has specific rules concerning:
- Dates and quotas
- Length limits by species
- Baits and number of lines allowed
It is important to refer to the Quebec government website for rules specific to your fishing area.
Don't forget that ice fishing is also permitted in the parks and wildlife reservesbut the rules may differ. Consult the information provided by the managers of these territories to find out more.
Exploring fish species
Types of fish
Ice fishing in Montreal offers a variety of fish species for those who enjoy this winter activity.
Among the most commonly fished species are the pikethe gold, the maskinongéthe perchaude, l'bass and thesturgeon.
The pike is a popular species among ice fishermen because of its size. It is often caught on the river, in lakes and rivers around Montreal.
Walleye is another fish prized for its delicious flesh and size.
Yellow perch is a smaller species of fish, but very popular for its availability and tender, flavorful flesh.
The sturgeon is a larger and rarer species of fish, often considered a trophy for ice fishermen.
Ice fishing in Montreal offers a variety of interesting and delicious fish species, suitable for beginners and experienced anglers alike.
Take advantage of this winter activity and, who knows, you might be able to bring home an impressive catch.
Ice Fishing Equipment
To get the most out of ice fishing in Montreal, it's essential to have the right equipment.
In this section, we'll show you the equipment you need for a successful day on the ice.
First of all, thefishing equipment is essential for ice fishing. Here's a list of essential items to include in your equipment:
- Rods and reels for ice fishing
- Brimbals, which are bite signalling devices
- Specific baits and lures to attract fish under the ice
- An ice drill or auger to drill holes in the ice
Secondly, it is useful to have a sonar to spot fish under the ice. This device will help you determine water depth and locate fish, increasing your chances of success.
Finally, to protect yourself from the elements, invest in a tent or a heated shelter is highly recommended. That way, you can enjoy fishing in comfort and warmth.
Make sure you have warm, waterproof clothing and good shoes or boots to walk safely on the ice.
Properly preparing your ice fishing equipment will enable you to fully enjoy this unique Montreal experience.
Don't forget to have all the necessary items in your gear, and be sure to check ice conditions and possess a valid fishing license before embarking on this adventure.
Organized Fishing Stays
White fishing in Montreal's Old Port
In Montreal's Old Port, the Ice Fishing Village located in the Quai de l'Horloge basin is the ideal spot for a day of ice fishing.
Accommodating over 500 people, the village offers heated shelters for a comfortable experience.
You can fish mainly for yellow perch and walleye, but also occasionally for pike and burbot.
This unique winter getaway is just a ten-minute walk from the Champ-de-Mars metro station.
For more information and to plan your visit, visit Fishing Old Montreal.
Looking for an unforgettable ice fishing experience in Montreal? Call on fishing guides experienced!
These professionals will provide you with all the tips and tricks you need to make the most of your outing with family or friends. Thanks to their expertise, you'll increase your chances of catching great fish while learning new fishing techniques.
Huts for rent
To make your ice fishing experience even more enjoyable, consider renting a cabin. These structures offer comfortable, heated shelter, perfect for protecting yourself from the cold during your family outing. Several fishing centers offer cabins for rent, equipped with everything you need to spend a relaxing day or weekend on the ice. Don't hesitate to ask about the different options and rates offered by fishing centers.
- La Madeleine Fishing Center (The website needs love, you'd better call)
- Address: 370 Chem. de la Grande-Ligne, Rigaud, QC J0P 1P0
- Telephone: (514) 975-7962
- Chez Robert Fishing Center (FB link)
- Address: 1460 Rang Ste Philomène, Oka, QC J0N 1E0
- Telephone: (450) 479-6450