Another great fishing story! Kristin Donovan has spent a lot of time fishing Mid Lake near Thompson over the years. Unfortunately, she has not had that much luck, even though the lake is stocked pretty much every year with different trout species. That all changed this past week!
“We caught it jigging – they didn’t seem to like it when it was still. I was using a very small silver spoon with a minnow hooked to it. It was a thrill… it pulled hard! I had tightened my drag after losing a fish that seemed big. We had also cleared the snow off the ice to help us see in case we hooked another good fish. Then we hooked THIS GUY. After reeling it in for a bit we could see it through the ice and at that point our hearts thumped and I started to hand bomb it so that I could guide it through the hole(thin ice – we had only used a small hand auger to drill the holes). Like I said, I almost never catch fish on Mid so just to have something hooked was exciting and then seeing it was ridiculous! I almost never ASK for a picture but asked my partner Mike if we could get out of the shack to take one. We love fishing and it was a pretty sweet moment. We had been catching what we are 99% positive are Splake (a friend of mine has been fishing forever and guides and told me that he is also pretty positive it’s a Splake) and this one, all though bigger than the others we had on the ice had the same tail, mouth and colouring.”
Mid Lake is known for its Master Angler Splake, and the Manitoba record of 35.75 inches was caught here in 2006. When you talk to fisheries biologists, splake can be extremely hard to identify. They are a hybrid between a lake trout and a brook trout. They rarely reproduce but they do grow fast and are longer living than most trout species. The last registered Master Angler Splake out of Mid Lake was a 23 inch fish registered in 2016. Laurie Lake is currently the most popular lake in the province to hook a big splake, though catching them can be extremely difficult.
Uncut Angling’s Aaron Wiebe was able to come through a couple of years ago.
Roger and Sue Geres put in a full day on Twin Lakes this week.
“As usual that lake makes fools of us lol, missed 4 on the jackers in the morning, just bumping and dropping. Saw some in the tent, one close to 30 inches. He showed no interest, bunted it with his mouth closed and slapped it with his tail and left. Managed to land a beauty, one at 21.5” so the trip was worth it. It doesn’t hurt that it’s such a beautiful place in the world!
WALLEYE FISHING REMAINS HOT
For those looking for a little fresh walleye on the table, there is no better spot right now than Lake of the Prairies. This reservoir has been hit and miss over recent years because of fluctuating water levels. When this reservoir gets hot, there are few better places in the province to catch walleye, both numbers and size. It is hot right now!
Ryan Suffron, who lives near Benito, was out with his family on the lake last weekend. He says they went to Pyott’s Point and had non stop action, catching about 50 walleyes in five hours of fishing.
Anglers on the east side of Lake Winnipeg are catching some fish and some Master Anglers as well. On Lake Manitoba, there is 14 inches of ice in the south basin, with walleye biting in the seven to ten foot range on jigging spoons. It is a night bite for the most part as you will see in this video from Jay Siemens
With the start of the hard water fish season upon us, things are getting off to a cautious start in Northwestern Ontario. Hooked Contributor Glenn MacDonald, who guides and works in Vermillion Bay has the latest update in his area.
“As lakes were freezing over, most were still at near record high water levels. This led to concerns over ice safety. Things have started to settle out now as we approach December. Most of the lakes have 6-10” of ice and people are starting to get out fishing.
Walleyes have been biting, on jigs and live bait. My wife’s brothers have been out in the Ear Falls / Red Lake area and report great ice conditions as well as great fishing. Things should be looking good in the next couple weeks for excellent walleye and crappie fishing. The smaller stocked trout lakes froze up nicely now, offering fishing for Brook, Rainbow and Splake. As is the case every year, a lot of anglers look forward to the start of ‘Laker’ season on January 1. Just remember to keep early season ice conditions in mind as you head out to enjoy the great fishing.”
Anglers continue to have good success for walleye on Last Mountain Lake. Stocked trout action though, is attracting a lot of ice anglers including the Konrad Brothers. Known as the Fishing Geeks, these two hardcore fisherman have caught some big rainbows already this year.
Anglers are starting to find thick ice across the west but not so much southern Alberta. A 59-year-old Calgary man died Sunday after falling through the ice while fishing in Little Bow Provincial Park. The two were fishing together when one went through the ice. When his partner tried to rescue him, he fell through the ice as well. A third man fishing nearby threw them a rope and managed to pull one fisherman from the icy water, but they were unable to reach the second man who had fallen in. Little Bow Provincial Park is located 170 kilometres southeast of Calgary.
HOW TO SAVE YOURSELF IF YOU BREAK THROUGH.
Everyone that ice fishes should be prepared mentally for what would happen if you broke through. Check out this great video from Adam Walton of the Edgerton Fire Department on how to get yourself back on the ice.