ICE FISHING HEATING UP!
Stocked trout and big fish has been the story of the last two weeks. There have been absolute brutes caught including this 28.5 inch rainbow caught by Jason Jones of Saskatchewan.
He was fishing Beautiful Lake in the Duck Mountains when he landed this beauty! In the open water season he also landed the new Manitoba record brown trout out of Laurie Lake. It measured 31.5 inches. Congrats Jason.
Regular contributors Roger and Sue Gere have been busy catching stocked trout and Roger found time to get his buck. Sue once again had the big fish, a 26.5 inch fish from Beautiful as well.
Phil Paczkowski is getting ready to pull out his ice shacks on Lake of the Prairies next week. Phil owns Patches Tackle in Roblin. He says anglers have been heading out on the ice in UTV’s and the ice is close to nine inches in most places. By the fishing for walleye has been hotter than a firecracker, especially on the north end.
Don Stokotelny owns Sticky Tackle in Dauphin. He has been open for curbside pickup, selling mostly live minnows to his regular clientele. Don will not be running is ice fishing service this year because of the new health restrictions. Sticky says the fishing for walleye on Lake Dauphin has been good as usual at the mouths of the many tributaries.
Aaron Wiebe jumped the gun a couple of weeks ago and nearly killed himself.
Anglers are walking out on Clear Lake to catch the abundant whitefish that swim below the surface of this beautiful body of water. This is one of my favourite lakes in the province. Here is a Clear Lake Master Angler whitefish caught by Chris Benias
The south end of Lake Manitoba had a poor freeze up and ice conditions are tough. You are able to walk out but so far fishing has been slow for walleye and perch.
Over in the Whiteshell Provincial Park, the hunt for black crappies has started. Some nice fish have been caught on Caddy Lake. The stocked trout lakes in the region have also been good.
In Thunder Bay, things are just starting to freeze up. Tom Armstrong has not been out yet, he is still working on getting his deer for the freezer but has this report.
Northwestern Ontario seems to be enjoying a very mild start to winter and I’m incredibly grateful for this! It’s letting me spend some pleasant days in the deer stand, before winter finally arrives. I really hope it sticks around long enough for me to find the buck I’m after and finish dealing with the mound of 16 foot birch logs in my yard, (that I’ve been putting off so I can deer hunt)!
Between winter prep, work, and deer hunting, I have not been fishing at all, but we are not far off.
I have been seeing plenty of pics on social media of some first ice action and expect to see it almost daily from now on! Many small lakes are frozen over, and the majority of what I’ve seen have been small, stocked lakes. These often freeze up early and can offer some great early season action.
I am on holidays for the next 2 weeks and am hopeful that inside there I can fill my buck tag, finish firewood and then spend a day or two chasing stocked trout!
Many of the smaller lakes have frozen over in the province with some good stocked trout action Up north anglers are walking out on Tobin Lake with just over six inches of ice in most places. Action has been spotty for walleye and pike but most fish are being caught last light. North of Regina, in the southern region anglers are walking out on Last Mountain Lake. Big walleye are chomping right now off of points and rock piles in 15 to 25 feet of water. Jigging raps and lipless cranks are a good choice at first ice on this big lake.
Although the bite on the Bow River has been a little slower in November if you compare it to the fair-weather fishing season, the Bow River and its tributaries are still willing to give up some of its brown trout and rainbow trout treasures. Bingo Bugs from Lucky Bug Lures on a sinking line with a strike indicator are producing bites for the fly fisherman.
The spin-cast anglers are enjoying similar success casting a Bingo Bug underneath a slip-bobber and a split-shot. Both angling technique and presentations are being casted upriver, and strikes are coming as the current moves their presentation downriver. There are still some open water trout to be caught by both spin cast anglers and fly fisherman if you’re willing to brave the elements.