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Montreal-les-Berges | The Press

During the pandemic, I started fishing. On the lakes, things are going pretty well. But on the shores of Montreal? It’s a total failure. In about thirty trips, I still haven’t managed to catch a single fish on the shores of the island.

Posted at 8:00 a.m.

Not even a small perch?

No.

Not even a baby pumpkinseed?

Not even. Nothing.

Am I discouraged?

Especially not. Because while looking for banks on which to fish, I discovered parks that were unknown to me. New points of view on an island that I thought I knew well. Now, I no longer just look at Montreal at its heart — the mountain, the downtown core, the commercial streets. I also pay attention to its envelope. At the river. At the river. to neighboring islands.

As much as there is insufficient access to the banks between the Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine tunnel and the Samuel-De Champlain bridge, there are many options elsewhere, and they are well laid out.

My favorites ?

Take your swimsuit, your cane and your sunscreen, we’re off to tour the island!

Dieppe Park

Port of Montreal

This park is located just 1 km from The Press, in Old Montreal. Yet for my first 20 years in the office, I never heard of it. How is it possible ? Because it’s 1 km away – as the crow flies. And between the two, there is a big obstacle.

The river.

To get there, head towards Habitat 67. The parking lot is under the Concorde bridge. From there, you just have to follow the path, along the water. The view of the city center is spectacular. The Peach ? Equally. In good weather, dozens of fishermen cast their lines on the northern tip, facing the Jacques-Cartier bridge, in the hope of luring a nice, big walleye.

Urban beach

Verdun


PHOTO ROBERT SKINNER, LA PRESSE ARCHIVES

The urban beach of Verdun, last summer

The banks most easily accessible by public transport. Exit at De l’Eglise metro station. Do you see the Auditorium at the end of the street? The beach is in his backyard. It’s a little oasis in the city. One of only three swimmable beaches in Montreal. Even children can venture there because the waters are so calm. On sunny mornings, arrive early. Otherwise, it may be as difficult to plant your umbrella as to fish a lake trout with your bare hands.

About fishing: by developing the site, the City has damaged the natural habitats of fish. Work was underway this spring to compensate for the damage.

Rapids Park

The room


PHOTO MARTIN CHAMBERLAND, THE PRESS

There are as many varieties of fish here as there are types of toothpaste at the pharmacy.

A long riverside park that delights cyclists, runners, birdwatchers, photographers and, of course, anglers. There is a lot to see. For a first visit, I recommend that you park your car next to the Knights of Columbus hall, at the corner of 6e Ave. You will be in front of a pedestrian bridge. Cross it. You will find yourself on a peninsula, with amazing views of Île aux Chèvres and the Montérégiennes. On one side, the waters of the Lachine Rapids are very choppy. On the other side are a pond and a bay. It’s dead calm. Nice contrast. There are as many varieties of fish here as there are types of toothpaste at the pharmacy.

René-Lévesque Park

China


PHOTO MARTIN CHAMBERLAND, THE PRESS

René-Lévesque Park is one of the most majestic on the island, with its arboretum and sculpture garden.

Don’t be put off by the horrible parking lot at the entrance. At the very end, the park is magnificent. One of the most majestic on the island, with its arboretum and sculpture garden. We fell in love with David Moore’s five huge stone legs, which seem to belong to colossi watching over the river. The banks are low and sparse. It makes the fisherman’s job easier. Several other great fishing options in the area, especially at the entrance to the Lachine Canal, as well as on the shores of the Père-Marquette promenade, where one of my children caught a nice bass. Note that there is a small fishing store at the corner of boulevard Saint-Joseph and 8e Ave.

Alexandre Bourgeau Park

Pointe Claire


PHOTO MARTIN CHAMBERLAND, THE PRESS

Alexandre-Bourgeau baseball park, in the heart of Old Pointe-Claire

Between Dorval and Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, about fifteen green spaces offer direct access to Lake Saint-Louis. My favorite ? The Alexandre-Bourgeau baseball park, in the heart of Old Pointe-Claire. I first stop looking for a pizza at Gigi’s. Or an ice cream at Wild Willy’s. Or both. Then I cast my line in the lake, rich in walleye, pike and bass. The old timers swear they’ve seen a trophy sturgeon wandering around. I take them at their word. Two curiosities: on your right, behind the school, hides a windmill. And on your left, in the distance, you will have an unusual view of Saint-Joseph’s Oratory.

Anse-à-l’Orme Nature Park

Pierrefonds

  • Sunset, above the Lac des Deux Montagnes

    PHOTO HUGO-SÉBASTIEN AUBERT, THE PRESS

    Sunset, above the Lac des Deux Montagnes

  • The Anse-à-l'Orme nature park has a few tens of meters of shoreline, at most.

    PHOTO EDOUARD PLANTE-FRÉCHETTE, LA PRESSE ARCHIVES

    The Anse-à-l’Orme nature park has a few tens of meters of shoreline, at most.

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It’s really quite small. A few tens of meters of banks, at most. But the view is spectacular. During the day, the windsurfers offer a colorful spectacle. In the evening, the sunsets over Lac des Deux Montagnes are the most beautiful in town.

Cap-Saint-Jacques Nature Park

Pierrefonds-Roxboro


PHOTO HUGO-SÉBASTIEN AUBERT, THE PRESS

Cap–Saint-Jacques Beach

Montreal families appreciate its farmhouse and its swimmable white sand beach. But that’s not where I want to take you. Park your vehicle opposite the Charlemagne College. At the far end of the parking lot, you will find a water ramp and a dock. Here, the waters of the Rivière des Prairies are calm. Large spaces are soothing, especially at dusk. That’s wonderful. My favorite fishing spot in Montreal, although unlike my neighbours, my bucket of water has never been crawling with yellow perch.

Bois-de-Liesse Nature Park

Saint Laurent


PHOTO ALAIN ROBERGE, THE PRESS

The Bertrand stream, in the Bois-de-Liesse nature park

One of the most beautiful parks on the island, with its bike paths and its Japanese footbridge, on which you can pick raspberries. What many Montrealers don’t know is that the park also extends north of Gouin Boulevard. And this section is worth the detour. This is where the mouth of the Bertrand stream is located, a little-known watercourse several kilometers long that goes inland to Dorval. Two wooden gazebos overlook the marshes. The fauna is surprising. I have seen frogs and turtles there. Others, luckier, have already seen beavers there.

Maurice-Richard Park

Ahuntsic


PHOTO ALAIN ROBERGE, THE PRESS

Maurice-Richard Park

The transformation of Park Stanley Avenue into a public square, with tables, benches and games drawn on the ground, has energized this sector of the city. Very nice place to hang out at sunset. An example to follow for the other cities and districts of the island.

Île-de-la-Visitation Nature Park

Ahuntsic


PHOTO HUGO-SÉBASTIEN AUBERT, LA PRESSE ARCHIVES

The Île-de-la-Visitation nature park

It’s nice. It’s big. It is also very popular. Fortunately, the Pearl of the North is full of corners where it is possible to enjoy the edge of the water in peace. This is especially true on the island, accessible by a small bridge behind the Meunier’s house. The mainland is more suitable for picnics and fishing, near the dam. At the start of the season, the sector’s star fish is the American shad. Later in the summer, the main fishing grounds are bass, walleye and pike. On the trails, keep your head up: a lesser owl stands in the corner.

Promenade Bellerive

Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve


PHOTO HUGO-SÉBASTIEN AUBERT, THE PRESS

The Bellerive promenade is a linear park that hugs the coastline for more than 2 km, near the tunnel.

We end our tour of the island in the east of the city, where the offer is improving. The borough of Rivière-des-Prairies–Pointe-aux-Trembles inaugurated a small pebble beach last summer. Well, it’s not swimmable yet because the area needs to be decontaminated, but you can play volleyball there and watch the river from the top of a long wooden footbridge. Montréal-Est has also created a beautiful space behind its city hall. I saw fly fishers in waders trying their luck there, just a few meters from a big cargo boat. It was a bit surreal.

But THE best access to the shores in the east is at Promenade Bellerive, a linear park that hugs the coastline for more than 2 km, near the tunnel. It will soon be possible to swim there, promised Mayor Valérie Plante during the election campaign. From this summer? Not sure. During my last visit, in mid-May, the work had not yet begun. In the meantime, it is possible to walk, bike or skate, paddle board and, you guessed it, fish.

This is definitely one of the best shores on the island for catching fish.

If only they liked my lures…

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