Ice Fishing for Tommy Cod (aka Peche aux Petits Poissons des Chenaux) near Montreal !
- Adult (weekday): $25/day
- Adult (weekend): $30/day
- For other rates, check the website below.
- When: December to mid-February, 8AM – 6PM (day) & 8PM-6AM (night)
- Website: http://associationdespourvoyeurs.com/en/
Sainte-Anne is known as the world capital of Tommy Cod fishing where many tourists come during December to February for this unique experience. During this time, a large population of these fish comes back to the Sainte-Anne River to spawn, therefore, turning this area into a fishing village. The frozen river will populate with over 500 cabins for this winter festival.
Once we arrived at our destination, we drove down on to the river and started looking for the company we booked with. We paid and bought our bait at the entrance and drove our car next to our cabin. Unlike the other type of ice fishing describe in my other page, this one, the fishing is done inside the cabin (perfect for people who are not too fond of the cold…).
They’ve designed the cabin to include a rectangular slot on the floor of the cabin so they can access the water once the ice is cleared away.
No fishing rod is used but instead, wooden knobs have been installed on the side of the wall above the slot to attach the strings and hooks. We needed to make sure they are the right length, so we would simply adjust it by twirling it around the knob.
The bait used are usually liver and shrimp and all we need to do is to cut up a small piece, attach it to the hook and that’s it.
The chance of you catching something is much higher since there are usually a ton of them in the river. The only downside is you’ll only catch Tommy Cods here so don’t expect any surprises!
Tommy cod (aka TomCod or in French, poulamon or petits poissons des chenaux) has an average length of 15 cm and doesn’t usually get much bigger. So literally, when you see the string move, without much effort, pull it out of the water and there you go, you’ve caught one!
Since the process is so straightforward, people can easily catch many of them. And for those who aren’t thaaaaat good, you can buy bags of them for very cheap!
For people who wants to keep the fish for dinner, they will leave them outside of the cabin to freeze them, so it’s common to see a pile of these fish populating on the snow.
Overall, I see this more of a fun gathering with friends and family and not so much for fishing enthusiasts because after a while, you will get tired of catching the same type of fish over and over again. Nonetheless, it’s still a unique experience so it’s definitely worth a try!
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