The Freshwater Phil guide to Montreal shore fishing spots

Montreal's best shore fishing spots

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Ice fishing walleye in downtown Montreal

One of my fishing buddies managed to convince me to attempt ice fishing for walleye near Downtown Montreal, just East of the Jacques Cartier Bridge and La Ronde. I was skeptical going out there, as I knew it had to be a day trip and I woudn't be able to stick around for the evening bite, but he told me that they hit throughout the day as well at his spot.

We picked up some minnows at B L Sport, crossed the Jacques Cartier Bridge into Longeuil and parked near a spot where we saw plenty of people out the ice. The surface was solid ice, so drilling holes through the 30 + inches of ice with my 8" diameter hand auger was tough, as I kept sliding around. When I fianlly drilled my first hole, we were in about 6 feet of water, so we went further out where more people were fishing. I found a spot with a bit of snow which would make the drilling easier, drilled 2 holes just to figure out that we were right on top of a shoal, water was about 1 foot deep under the ice.

At that point, one of my buddies asked a guy with a gas auger to drill some holes for us about 50 feet away, where the water dropped to 40 feet. Between the four of us, we only set up 6 lines, as the guy that brought us out had mentioned that we would be able to catch dozens of walleyes jigging minnows. Turns out, we got skunked, not even 1 bite. The guys fishing tip ups all around us caught some small walleyes, one of them caught a nice 15 inch sauger. Current was strong too, I had to use a 3 ounce sinker to keep my still line in place.

Needless to say, I won't be heading back to ice fish there any time soon. The fishing pressure is insane compared to what I'm used to, and I'm sure the water is way more polluted than the areas I fish West of the Island, as the St Lawrence river flows Eastwards through Montreal, picking up all sorts of pollutants. Furthermore, the port of Montreal is directly across the water.

One the bright side, I think the spot might make for some decent carp fishing in the summer, provided I can find a break in the current in one of the bays. The area definitely has some big carp, I've seen them while walking on the boardwalk at Laronde.

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