Best time to visit Quebec

Ice Fishing in Quebec

Pêche blanche—this tradition that comes from the indigenous people is an unusual winter activity

Best time: January–February

Ice Fishing

When winter is in full swing, the Quebecois like to go outside and 'break the ice’ and start their fishing season. From January to February rivers and lakes are favorable for fishing as the surface is covered with a thick ice layer. Pêche blanche is open to all who like frosty fresh air and good company.

Fishing spots can be found all way down the St. Lawrence River and Saguenay Fjord where the water is full of walleye, pike, yellow perch, black bass, smelt, cod, and halibut.

For those who want to include in their fishing tales an unusual Atlantic Tomcod hunt, there is an annual festival in Ste-Anne-de-la-Pérade. The world capital of tommy cod fishing attracts around 85,000 fishermen each year, and provides 500 cabins in its territory.

Practical info

When is the best time to go ice fishing in Quebec?

Ice fishing in Quebec is ideal from January to February, during which the rivers and lakes are covered with icy layers. Fishing during this period offers a unique and enjoyable experience and allows you to participate in the traditional pêche blanche. The intense cold is ideal for ice fishing that is perfect for family, friends, or colleagues looking to enjoy the outdoors. Show more

Where can I find the best ice fishing spots in Quebec?

Quebec offers a variety of ice fishing locations, including the St. Lawrence River and Saguenay Fjord, to catch different species of fish. These spots provide excellent opportunities to hunt for walleye, pike, yellow perch, black bass, smelt, cod, and halibut. Ste-Anne-de-la-Pérade hosts the annual festival that allows you to catch numerous Tomcod and offers more than 500 cabins for your convenience. Show more

What types of fish can I catch during the pêche blanche tradition in Quebec?

Pêche blanche, or ice fishing in Quebec, lets you catch various fish species such as walleye, pike, yellow perch, black bass, smelt, cod, and halibut. The best places to find these fish are the St. Lawrence River and Saguenay Fjord, which have different fish species depending on the body of water. It is advisable to obtain guidance from reliable sources, such as local guides, on the best spots to maximize your catch. Show more

What is the Atlantic Tomcod hunt, and where can I participate in this event?

The Atlantic Tomcod hunt is a unique, enjoyable winter activity that occurs in Quebec. Ste-Anne-de-la-Pérade hosts a festival that attracts around 85,000 fishermen every year. The event provides more than 500 cabins, which offers a unique and exciting experience in Tomcod fishing. The festival usually runs from January to February, allowing friends, family, and fishing enthusiasts to participate and create unforgettable memories. Show more

What other winter activities can I do in the Montreal area besides ice fishing?

Montreal offers a range of winter activities that are perfect for families, friends, or groups such as skating at Parc La Fontaine, Windsor Station, or the Old Port. The Montreal Snow Festival, which includes snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and dog sledding, is a great opportunity to celebrate winter. Mont Tremblant, a mountain resort near Montreal, provides many exciting activities, including skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, ice climbing, and more. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin