‘Twas the Ice Before Christmas in Manitoba…


Despite some warmer than normal temperatures for most of December in Manitoba, we have plenty of ice now on almost all of our lakes.  Earlier in the week I headed out to check the perch action on East and West Shoal Lakes with a group of friends. While we only caught two perch and one pike in a half day of fishing we did mark quite a few fish that wouldn’t bite. I am sure this fishery will pick up as the winter goes on. No problem driving around with 18 inches of good solid ice with minimal snow cover.


Lake Manitoba

Not so on Lake Manitoba, at least at Twin Beaches were I drove on. There was some heavy drifting along with some pretty thick ice. We drilled in five feet of water, and it was at least 24 inches. The action was slow, we caught (Pete) one pike and one walleye, both on a Live Target golden shiner.

I got stuck on a serious drift on the way out at the end of the day. Luckily there was one last angler left out there that got me out. Friend Jim Price from Portage has been out five times with mixed results. He has been averaging about three walleye a trip personally at Delta but reports that he got skunked last time out.

Meantime anglers are heading out on Clear Lake with some excellent results for lake whitefish plus lots of nice pike.. You need a National Park fishing license and there are only certain spots you can access the lake by snowmobile. It is worth effort, plus there are lots of great places to stay while you fish. The rock reefs in the northwest end of the lake hold abundant populations of big lake whitefish, which are excellent eating.

Lake Dauphin and Lake of the Prairies have been good for consistent walleye action with fish in the 16 inch range as the average. Meantime Lake Winnipeg has been kicking out some trophy fish for those willing to put in the time. Some really big walleye have also been caught on the Red River.  With the holidays coming up, get out and enjoy the great ice fishing this province has to offer.




About Author

Don Lamont - The Complete Angler Don Lamont has been a full time professional angler for 34 years, hosting and producing the award winning “The Complete Angler” television series for fifteen of those. Don has received several awards for his commitment to public education and the future of recreational fishing in Canada. Those include a 2000 Canadian Recreational Fisheries Award for his work with Manitoba’s Urban Angling Partnership. In 2003 he received a Manitoba Tourism Award for his promotion of Manitoba and western Canada. In 2004 he was a finalist at the Tourism Industry Association of Canada National Award for Tourism Excellence, presented by The Globe and Mail. Don has been a regular fishing columnist in the Winnipeg Free Press since 1992 and is currently editor of Hooked Magazine.

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