I live about 35 miles from the ocean. If I’m planning to hop on a boat for fishing, I can leave my house early enough and avoid traffic. It makes it tough, though, to just go without planning ahead. Many of my like-minded fishing buddies combat this issue by fishing in various urban settings. It’s not always legal, but I’ve seen my share of fishing pictures taken on closed golf courses at night, rock quarries, city parks, and the like.

The residents of Ottawa, Canada are luckier. They have legal public-access spots in urban areas that offer great opportunities for trophy fish. Read all about Ottawa’s Urban Angling.

???????????????????????????????Next to the green grass, tulips and joggers that line Ottawa’s picturesque Rideau Canal, a monster lurks in the shallows — the legendary muskie.

“They’re essentially opportunistic hunters, anything that can fit into their mouths, sometimes even bigger things. They are not shy,” says Robert Fuchs, a professional angler and avid urban fisherman.

As fishing legend has it, the prehistoric beast will eat beavers, ducks, muskrats and even small dogs. “In the spring,” says Fuchs, “a family of ducks will swim by and after a big splash there’s two missing.”

Fuchs says the elusive muskie — which can weigh more than 40 pounds and stretch a five feet is just one species of trophy fish that make Ottawa’s famous canal their summer home.

And they’re attracting a growing number of urban anglers looking for a prize catch.

Photos: Ontario Out of Doors (top); Ottawa River Keepers (above)