Last February, I visited Montréal in my quest to fall in love with winter, involving myself in any activities I could to immerse myself in the season. One activity was visiting an ice hotel and bar, while the other was to attempt ice fishing in Montréal. I wasn’t sure that ice fishing would be my cup of tea, as I have barely fished in my life, but I was willing to give it a try. Luckily, I didn’t even have to leave the city to make this winter dream a reality.
Pêche Vieux-Montréal, or Fishing Village Montréal, is a unique destination for ice fishing right in the center of Montréal. Located in the Old Port, the village has thirty heated shelters, accommodating between eight to twelve people. All equipment is available to rent, and the people working there were more than helpful in guiding me along this new process.
After grabbing the buckets of bait and two different fishing poles, I was off to find my tent. While you don’t need a tent and can fish at any of the open holes in the area, it was February in Montréal, and the cold and I do not normally get along.
Inside the tent were four holes, four chairs, and a heater. While it felt strange to be inside a tent, on ice, warming up next to the heater, I took it in as all part of the experience.
I set up the fishing rods and hoped for the best. You can take home any of the fish you catch to eat, and while this wasn’t my intention since I was staying in a hotel, I was still hoping to get lucky.
After about an hour or two, without any luck, I had had my fill of ice fishing. I wasn’t successful, but I will admit, it was a lot of fun. I couldn’t have stayed in that hut on the ice all day, and I have no idea how some people do it, but maybe with a large group of friends, food, and drinks it would be possible. For me, I had the experience, and that was quite enough.
The best part of ice fishing in Montréal would have to be how centrally located it is to everything else Montréal has to offer. Pêche Vieux-Montréal gives people in the city a chance to feel far away from the hustle and bustle, but its location makes it convenient enough to spend just a few hours on the ice. It’s also close enough to Old Montréal, where one can warm up with mulled wine and crêpes, which is exactly what I did.