Known as Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade, the place takes its name after the monumental Catholic church located at the mouth of the Sainte-Anne river. The mega church itself is already a first puzzle for the visitors, as its hard to understand its size vs under two thousand population ratio.
But the real reason behind the popularity of this place is a little fish called ”poulamon” (‘poolamon’), (or tomcod in English) which comes in zillions to Sainte Anne river each winter to reproduce. This is when the ice fishing village construction takes place and thousands of anglers arrive to fish tomcod in those cabins through the holes in the ice.
|via Wikimedia Commons|
We have been postponing our ”pêche blanche” trip to La Perade for weeks and finally took our time to start the ice fishing season last Sunday. I packed us a perfect picnic basket with assorted sandwiches, veal canapes, meatloaf leftovers from the other night, few bottles of our favorite red and white, a huge thermos of coffee and many other things. In other words: everything to make our trip a success in case we don’t catch the fish.
No need to bring your rod or even fishing license to this place! Once you reserve your cabin everything is included: fishing lines with hooks, pork liver bait, wood and parking. The cabin was warm and super-comfy with wooden stove and electricity, so we could even plug in our stereo! We parked the car right outside the door of our cabin.
The cabin owner gave us some tips on fishing the tomcod. There is a wooden pole in the cabin with bunch of fishing lines attached to it right over the fishing hole. Each line is anchored with a weight and two hooks. The proper fishing technique is to attach the bait to hide the hook and let your weight fall to the bottom. You then raise the fishing line about half an inch from the bottom and wait until the fish bites.
We caught a few dozen of tomcod within two hours. Once caught, the fish is thrown outside the cabin in the snow to freeze. That way the flavor is preserved and the fish is easy to clean.
The night is young, the folk fiddle and accordion music is still playing all over the place, people are just getting ready for the next contest…
Québec, Canada, G0X 2J0