(Laval) Due to the lack of snow in southern Quebec, options for winter activities are quite limited this year. But it was cold enough that the river could freeze, at least in places where the flow was calm. This is the case west of Laval, where ice is still present. Of course, make sure the conditions are favorable beforehand and now is the time to take advantage of it.

Every winter, they can be seen appearing on the ice of the St. Lawrence River, Rivière des Prairie, or Mille Île. These colorful tents protect fishermen who brave the cold to target pike, walleye, bass, perch and more. Ice fishing is not only great around Montreal Island and Laval Island, but it’s also easy to access.

So here we were, with Charles Raymond and Marc-André Royal, on a beautiful Monday afternoon at Berges aux Quatre Vins, west of Laval. The first person is a popular YouTuber. The second person is a famous chef. Both have loved fishing since childhood.

When we arrived, Charles had already cut some holes in the ice using his electric crankshaft, while Marc-Andre had set up a camp stove on a folding table and prepared to cook our catch. was doing. The cooler also contained fresh walleye that he had bought in Iceland. A fish shop in case you’re empty-handed.

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What immediately stands out is the ease of installation required for ice fishing. “Ice fishing has many benefits,” says Charles Raymond. You don’t need a boat or big contraption to catch fish. Buy a tent, a heater, and an electric or gas drill so you can go all out when you want. Some have cabins. However, ice fishing is perfect with a hand crank and some tackle. It can also be equipped for less than $100. »

A brimbare is a small wooden or metal platform placed around a hole drilled in the ice. The line and bait are connected to a flag that goes up when the fish bites. Just as you can fish with a rod in your hand in the traditional way, you can also use small rods that can be fixed to supports designed for this purpose. “We have the rods, reels and lures, but the difference is that everything is small,” explains Charles Raymond. The fish’s metabolism slows down significantly in the winter, so there’s no point in having a 6-foot long rod just to sit in front of the hole and move the lure. »

Charles Raymond fishes with dead fish bait as well as small lures. “This has the advantage of emitting a scent that attracts big fish,” explains the 25-year-old young fisherman, who owns YouTube and TikTok’s Raymond and Bass channels, respectively. The number of subscribers to the channel is over 18,000. Most avid fishermen may also use sonar to obtain bathymetric measurements of waterways and applications such as: Navionics This will give you an accurate depth, and you can also refer to Google Maps aerial photos to get an idea of ​​summer vegetation.

Marc-Andre Royal fishes about 40 days a year every year, but he likes to go ice fishing with his family on the Rivière des Prairie near his Laval des residence. In the heart of Cartierville, in the Fleury Ouest district, the restaurant Le St-Urbain is just around the corner. “I don’t have the extensive facilities that Charles has, but I often go there at the end of winter. The weather is nice and there’s a lot of sun, so I organize a little afternoon with the kids.” says the chef who is also the owner of this restaurant. There are three of his La Bête à pain bakeries. I bring my small barbecue equipment, make some toast and small sausages, drink some coffee, and fish for a few hours. We also take this opportunity to bring out our Finnish pins and have some fun. »

It is precisely because of the customer profile that the island’s outdoor adventure center in Saint-Sulpice, just downstream from Repentigny, has become so popular. “It’s becoming more and more family-friendly,” declares owner Yves Ouellet. In addition to advice for beginners, we also offer rental of all equipment. For 8 people, it costs $145 for a full day of fishing from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., but families with young children are advised not to arrive before noon. » We provide an 8′ x 12′ cabin heated by a wood stove and all fishing equipment except lures. These are sold on site.

Marc-Andre Royal’s fried pollock croquette sandwich

Ingredients for fish cake

  • 500g walleye or white fish fillet
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup blonde beer
  • 1C. Baking powder tsp
  • canola oil
  • pinch of salt
  • mill pepper

dill and lemon sauce ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp.chopped dill
  • 1C. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper from the flour mill

preparation

  • 1. Mix all the croquette ingredients except the fish.
  • 2. Dust the fish with flour and remove excess flour.
  • 3. Cook in canola oil at 375°F for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • 4. Mix all sauce ingredients.
  • 5. Make delicious sandwiches with your favorite bread!

This is the safe thickness of ice to support a person’s weight. This is doubled for cars, and tripled for trucks.

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