Summer family fishing fun around the West Island and Off-Island
PHOTO COURTESY STOCKPICS/FLIKR
Fishing is an inexpensive family activity that will educate the kids about their environment and offers an alternative summer activity to technology screens.
If your kids are too old for camp or you’re looking for a summer activity for the whole family, fishing may be the ticket.
“First of all, you’re outdoors,” said Dan Edmonds, who with his daughter co-owns Lauzon Chasse Et Pêche in Île-Perrot. “The kids aren’t in the room twiddling their thumbs on their Nintendos. “Second of all, fishing is quite exciting,” Edmonds said, pointing out children are thrilled to catch any fish, no matter the size.
“Years ago coming right up to the early 1900s right up to about the 60s and 70s where the Ottawa River meets the St. Lawrence was one of the best known fisheries in the world,” Edmonds said. “There are more species of fish to be caught out there, it’s unbelievable. And people from all over the world came into Montreal to fish here.”
Today he said people fish less than they used to. The economy played a part and, “now the problem on this island (Île-Perrot) is we don’t even have a decent ramp,” Edmonds said. As well, recently the owner of Chez Aumais, a local all-season fishing gear and equipment supplier in Notre-Dame-de-l’Île-Perrot, became ill and his family doesn’t want to continue the business, which has been in the community for over 50 years, he said.
Edmonds, who grew up in Île-Perrot, said fishing died out for a while because kids preferred to spend time playing video games. “Everybody had a fishing rod when I was a kid. Today, maybe one out of a hundred kids has a fishing rod.”
Getting kids out of the house and fishing is key to keeping the sport alive. “The kids are our future,” he said.
“The Ottawa River all the way up to Hudson, there’s some fantastic fishing spots there,” Edmonds said, specifying that the waters “right around Île-Perrot” where the Ottawa and St. Lawrence rivers meet contain more than 70 species of fish.
In Lac St. Louis common fish include perch, Largemouth and Smallmouth bass, walleye dory, pike, muskie and sturgeon, Edmonds said. “Walleye is probably one of the best eating fishes we have in this pond.”
The Quebec government requires that adults obtain fishing licences. “The kids don’t really need a licence because they can fish off their parents’ licence,” Edmonds said.
Small fishing stores sell fishing licences and offer personalized advice, Edmonds said. “At our store, my staff and I we want the people to go out and catch fish. If you don’t have a boat (and) you want to fish off a shore we can recommend some spots and what to use at those particular places to increase your luck.”
Edmonds notes though there’s no limit on what you can spend, fishing does not need to be an expensive sport.
“Basically if you have a line, a hook and something on a hook, you’ve got a good chance of catching a fish.”