I’ve lived in Montreal for the better part of two decades, so I thought I’d seen this town from every angle (especially considering that I’m a reporter). But recently, I had a fresh view of our city beautiful city: From the water on a Montreal Fishing Tour…
Dominic Savard, host and owner of Montreal Fishing Tours, met us at the public pier in Lachine, a storied and historic suburb of Montreal. He had the 4-person vessel primed and ready to go, as well as the rods, nets and fishing licenses, as well as safety equipment and all the good luck we needed for a day out fishing.
Riding shotgun in Dom’s sporty Princecraft, I felt I couldn’t lose – but before my prey started biting, I got a gorgeous view of the city lit pink and shimmering at dawn, as we zoomed away from the skyline on the calm surface of Lac St-Louis, which is merely an enlargement of the St. Lawrence river, just west of town. The top of Mount Royal and the curves of St Joseph’s Oratory were outlined in the morning sky as Dom let us know the schedule of the day: Namely, that there was no schedule.
“This is your day of fishing, so we’re going to travel according to your desires,” said Dom. Since we wanted to experience several environments and species and fishing techniques, Dom offered us a magical mystery tour of the lake that was both relaxing and action-packed.
I’ve done plenty of fishing on remote lakes and rivers across Canada and in other countries, but seldom have I seen so much action, so fast! During our first hour on the water, I caught three regulation-sized smallmouth bass! Though the standard is often catch-and-release on these waters, we were licensed to take fish home, and so we did (we planned to stuff them with sausage and roast them in banana leaves on the charcoal grill).
After an exciting lead-in, Dom decided to take us into the shallows for pike-fishing – we trolled among the shallows for awhile. After that, we trolled to another location, where we jigged for Walleye. Finally, a gorgeous clear spot flanking the yacht club had us perched on casting stools, flinging our lines into the air.
“I used to work in a cubicle, and now this is my office,” joked Dom, indicating the stunning estuarine view – the sun was hot, but a breeze kept a ripple on the water. He clearly enjoys showing off his fishing grounds to visitors – he’s a veteran derby fisherman as well as a knowledgeable guide, and he taught me more about the river environment than I thought there was to know.
The variety of different techniques and change-ups throughout the day made this fishing excursion both relaxing and adventurous, and fun for everyone. He also cleaned and filleted my catch as we bobbed in the water before our return, and offered to let us dive off the boat for a refreshing swim. (Clients also have the option of booking a “shore lunch” option in which Dom will cook your catch at his special, private picnic spot overlooking the water.)
Montreal Fishing Tours is an urban city-fishing experience that gave me a unique perspective on the city, from the point of view of its natural surroundings. Plus, I came back with a catch I’m quite proud of.