Canada > Ice Fishing Saskatchewan

My 2023 Ice Fishing Reports.

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Water Wolf:
Hi All,

Here are the ice fishing reports for March. :tipup:

Hope you all had a good St Patrick's Day, and hope that March came in like a Lamb in your area.:)

Here, in my area of SK., March came in like a lion, with stronger winds and cold temps.
It stayed cold for the most part, with just a few days at normal temps. We did have one day (the 14th) with fleeting above freezing temps for half an hour or so.  After that though, that same afternoon, the temperature began to dip again. A real prairie blizzard began with very strong winds (50 - 70 km / h) and high snow fall rates, creating near zero visibility.  Slippery, dangerous driving conditions were reported here, and, in most areas of SK. ::)
Usually by month end, in March, it begins to look a bit nicer, with above freezing temps, but, not in my area this year. We had 2 nights where the temps were dangerously cold. The 27th, had temps falling to - 28 deg C /- 18 deg F, and, the 28th, went to -27 deg C / - 17 deg F, and, those are without the wind-chill factored in. :o

Needless to say, signs of spring were slow to show this year. On March 1st 2 crows were spotted, then 2 more on the 15th, and, finally 6 more on the last 2 days of the season.  I never seen any Canada geese or robins this month, which is unusual.  March left, as it came, like a lion.

Ice fishing wise, I was able to get out a few more times this month, with a few trips at the beginning, and, a few trips at the end of the month.

March 4th.
This would be the first time out this month.
It's been a while since I have been out, and, I was eager to try it again.
After the bit of luck I had before, I thought I would try Whitesand / Pelican Lake again and see what was biting.

On the drive up the wildlife was out in force, with coyotes, Hungarian partridges, sharp tailed grouse, a snow owl and many many deer spotted.

Once at the lake, I saw that there were a good number of anglers out and about. I counted 15 other vehicles, 4 snow machines and 1 Bombardier.
I enjoyed seeing the Bombardier traverse the frozen terrain presented without any issue.

I set up in the general area as before, and, ice fish from 3:10 pm - 6:12 pm.

Not too far from me, a group with several smaller children, were out having a blast.  Proof the lake can be a fun place in any weather.
Part way through the afternoon, the smell of cooking hot dogs floated towards me on the breeze from the same group. The way the catch has been going, hot dogs was a wise "just in case" idea.

All the folks out were enjoying a decent day on the ice with - 8 deg C / 18 deg F temps. The wind was lite from the NW, to calm, at times. It was mainly sunny, but, the skies got a bit more cloudy toward sunset. As predicted, a snow storm moved in that night.

The fish were around the area I set up in, but, this time it was a different cast of characters. Today it was mostly yellow perch, 13 to be exact. I only saw 1 pike and 1 walleye this time.

The pike came in and made a few strikes at the soft plastic. It seemed to keep biting behind the hook, and, after a few more half-hearted strikes, it moved off.

The yellow perch were out and about, presenting in 3 sizes, medium, small and tiny. Most of them were too small to be able to wrap their lips around the walleye and pike sized hooks.
A few of the medium sized perch closely inspected the lures offered, but, would not bite.

By near sunset, I finally had a perch convinced enough to bite.
It went for a large sized minnow, 3" long and rattle jig. I would have guessed that would have been too big a meal for a perch, but, hay, it worked.

The yellow perch. :)

After this photo it went back, in a flash.

After sunset I had 1 walleye shoot into view. It came in fairly fast, but would not bite. It followed the lure up and down once and was gone, back into the darkness.

After seeing the walleye, I stay for a while longer, but alas, the 1 perch was all the action this time out. I am happy to have found that perch however, as, I have never caught a perch out of this lake before, nor have I caught perch, in general, for several years now. ;D

I leave as it gets darker, windier and colder.

March 6th.
This would be my next trip of the month.
I decide to go back to Fishing Lake again and see what action is happening in an area that I have not tried yet this season.

On my way to the lake, I saw a bald eagle eating something in a field. This was a mature bird with a white head and tail. Not sure if it is a very early arrival, or, if it stayed for some reason, all winter long. :-\ Either way, it was definitely an unexpected sight this early in the year.
I have heard seeing an eagle can bring you good luck, so, I was hoping  it would be the case for me on this day. ;)
I wish I could have got a photograph of that one, but, it was a busy highway and a fair ways into the field.

Once I get to the area of the lake I want to try, I see there is a partly ploughed trail out onto the ice, but, most of it was now blown in with snow. I was hoping to get a fair ways out onto the ice, but, feared I might be stuck, so, I opted to fish just off the main trail in a slightly blown in stall.

It was a chilly day at - 15 deg C / 5 deg F, but, what saved me, this time, was there was not a breath of wind that afternoon. The 1 time I felt a lite breeze it came from the E. If there was any wind I would not have been able to fish outside like I did.
The sunny day helped warm things up, just a little bit.

I set up and ice fish from 2:48 pm - 7:00 pm.

As I look around the lake I notice that I am the only one out fishing. One man in a truck come out near sunset took a drive to a shack, but never stayed to fish.

For the whole time I was there, all I heard was, "The Sound of Silence", and, it was nice. :)
I did hear a few croaking ravens near dark, but, they are always a welcoming sound of nature in winter here.

There were not too many fish around that afternoon, but, the ones that were there were quite aggressive.

At 5:14 pm I finally ice the first fish of the day, a pike.
During one of my jigging sequences I see a pike shoot past the rattle bait, turn on a dime in the distance, and, shoot back towards the lure.  When it opened it's mouth, the lure disappeared in a flash. It hits hard and kept going. No need for a hook set this time, it does a fine job of hooking itself. I set the hook for good measure, and out of habit, and after a few runs, it's iced. A quick photo and it's on it's way.
No skunk today, yes. :)

At 5:37 pm I have another pike come in hard, just like the first one. This one hits the lure hard,on the first try. It's also hooked, and iced. @)

This pike really wanted that bait.

This is turning out to be an OK day after all.

At 6:10 pm, just as it's getting dark on the camera, I have a 3rd pike come in. It hit the bait, but, with a closed mouth, just more of a ramming action. When it feel a hard bait instead of a soft fish, it keeps on going.

That would be the action for the day. I stay for a bit longer, hoping that walleye might come in, under the now rising, full moon, but, nope, no walleye show up.

The full moon for March is called the" Full Worm Moon". Obviously it was named in a part of the country that's alot warmer in March than here. No active worms yet. :P

I leave the lake as the wind slowly begins to blow enough of a chill in the air to feel it biting my nose.

Not far from the lake, there stands a corn field for cattle, and, amongst them, I spot an entire heard of deer, along with 1 moose - trying to blend in. That's the first time I have seen all 3 species feeding calmly together in the same area. They were all giving each other their own space. Interesting to see.

I did snap 2 photos of the moose in the corn field.

I knew deer and of course cattle liked to eat corn, but did not know moose did too. :o

Never know what you will see. :woot:

In the end, it was a better day on the ice than what the temps showed.
Here's to the next trip out.

March 30th.
I decide to ice fish the last 2 days of the season, and, try both lakes I fished this winter, one last time. First up, Fishing Lake.

I decide to try an area where the pike and walleye should start staging for their run up the creek this April.

On the way to the lake, I see a bald eagle again. It has a white head and is only a few km's up the road from where I seen one on my last trip out. I have a feeling it's probably the same bird.
Maybe seeing it will bring me some luck again. ;)

When I get to where I want to setup I see that the slope down to the lake does not look the best. I could probably get onto the ice easily enough, but, I am not sure how easy it would be to get back up and out. I decide to not risk it, and just walked out instead, pulling my gear in a sleigh.

I set up, and ice fish from 3:30 pm - 7:20 pm.
I am sure liking those longer days. :)

It was a sunny afternoon, but, fairly windy from E, out in the open. Where I was, it was quite sheltered and the wind was just lite to calm at times. The temps was a bit below normal at -2 deg C / 28 deg F.
The warmer sun did feel good, and, a person could have almost dozed off with the calm surroundings. Good thing I had the underwater camera to watch.

This late in the season, I was a bit surprised to see so many shack still out on the ice in that area of the lake.  :o
I counted 12 shacks that still had to come off, and, only 1 more day to do so. None were taken off while I was there. It's going to be a busy last day tomorrow.

There were quite a few other anglers out. I counted 10 other vehicles on the ice with a mix of snow machines and trucks.
A group of 4 anglers where fishing not too far from me.

The most common sounds were again that of nature with 2 crows heard, a few ravens croaking and woodpeckers tapping. The only louder sounds heard were that of snow machines coming and going.

It was calm under the ice as well. For most of the day, the only action seen on camera were from the schools of freshwater shrimp / scuds, a few water boatmen, and, backswimmers.

It was not until 5:30 pm when I get my first fish sighting on camera.
I am jigging a spoon and minnow combo, when I see a pike shoot past the lure at high speed, turn on a dime, and, take another run at it. On the 3rd attempt it connects and hooks itself. I am only in 2 feet of water under the ice, so, all it can do is go sideways and it does that well. After a brief tug of war, I win, and, ice the first fish of the day, yes.

At least there will be no skunk on this day. ;D
After a quick photo, it's off to spawn this spring.

I release the pike near my camera and see it shoot off horizontally, just under the ice.

At 6:48 pm I get another hit, but this time, on my set rod. I walk over and carefully maneuver the fish up and out of the hole. It's another pike.

This one is also released after a photo. :)

At 7:00 pm, I see a pike cautiously come in and inspect the lure. It's not sure about the bait offered, and stays tight lipped. Maybe it's one of the 2 fish I released earlier.
I don't know for sure, but, it was of similar size to the others released.

I stay a bit longer hoping that some walleye will come by, but, nope, not this time. :P

The group of 4 anglers ice 1 pike at the end of the day as well.

I pack up to the sounds of coyotes all around me, and, say, good by to Fishing Lake until May. :blink:

On the way home I take the same road as I did last time out, and, again, in the same corn field in the same general area I see a moose again. It could be the same one as before, it looks to be the same size. Along with the moose, I see a very large herd of deer. The herd stretches from one end of the corn field to the other, wow. :o

A picture of the moose as it slowly walks along.

March 31st - Last day of the season.
It's the final count down now. :whistle:
I decide to try my last day of the season at Whitesand / Pelican Lake and see how it goes.

I get to the lake, set up in the same general area that I used all season long, and, ice fish from 2:45 pm to 7:30 pm.

There were a good number of folks out on the ice for the last day, and, I count 15 vehicles, that include trucks, snow machines, and, the same bombardier I saw before.

There were 2 trucks and several anglers set up not too far down the lake from me.

It was a sunny, but, windy day on the ice. The temp were only -2 deg C / 28 deg F, but, the wind was really whipping across the ice from the SE, and, where I set up, there was no bush to shelter me this time.
The high humidity of 97% did not help either making it feel like a much colder day. Not spring like at all. :P

It was a slower day on the ice. I did not see the group beside me ice a single fish, nor did they run for their tip-ups and set lines. The group beside me, and, a good number of other anglers pack up early.
I on the other hand, stayed to the bitter end. :blink:

For most of the day, the only fish life I saw on camera were good sized schools of spot tailed shiners. They would come in and investigate every lure that I put down and would occasionally peck and bite at a few. They showed no fear of lures that were bigger than themselves.
It was like watching an aquarium and passed the time. @)

Half way through the trip, I did get a hit on my set rod, but, by the time I got to it the fish was off.  It must have been something like a small perch, as the frozen minnow showed no bite marks at all.

As the sun began to sink lower in the sky, so did my hopes of icing a fish this trip, but, at 6:22 pm, I see my set rod get hit again. This is a better yank down, but, it comes back up quickly and stays there. I walk over and see no movement of the rod tip. I think it's probably off, but, feel for weight anyways. Humm, there is weight after all. I set the hook, and, after a brief fight, ice the first fish of the day, a pike.

Good to know there will be no skunks on this last day. ;D

I take a photo and let it go to spawn again.

After that fish, others start to show up on camera. They must have been looking for a meal before dark.
In that short period of time I see 3 yellow perch, 2 are medium sized and 1 is tiny, no bigger than the shiner minnows.
I also see 3 walleye and 1 pike.

One of the medium sized perch swam right up to the lipless rattle bait, and, bit the lure right in the eye. It then flared it pectoral fins, and, raised it's dorsal fin. That must have been a threat display toward what it though was a competitor. It then swam off seemingly pleased with itself. :woot:

The 1 pike that came by just move on through, never stopping to take another look.

The 2 walleye came in together looking like they were doing a synchronized swimming routine. They both came in at the same time, and both did a few pirouettes around the lure in perfect sync before leaving at the same time a few minutes later.

The 3rd walleye was more aggressive. It came in fast, hit the spoon and minnow combo, but, misjudged, and, hit the spoon near the top. When it got a taste of hard metal instead of a soft squishy minnow it kept on going. :-\

With the increase in action below the ice, I wait for another 20 minutes,but, in the end that would be it.

I pack up and am off the ice before it gets too dark to see all the wildlife in the area. :o

And so, as the sun sets on the last day of this ice fishing season, I am thankful not to be skunked one more time. I am happy to have had the ice fishing opportunities I did this season. ;D

I have a few more non-fishing photos from the month.
March seemed to be moose madness this year.
I have seen more moose this month than usual. Wherever I have gone I see moose somewhere. :o

Here are a few of those photos.
This is a photo of a mother and calf. They were close to the road.

The calf.

They are starting to look a bit shabby as they loose their winter coats.

This moose was spotted in a country church yard.

I also got a photo of a snow owl, before they returned back to the arctic for the year. :)
This female snowy owl posed for me from the top of a power pole.

She was gracious enough to give me a 2nd photo.

Well, that concludes my ice fishing reports for the 2023 season.
I would like to thank all of you for coming along on this winter journey and hope you all had a good ice fishing season too.

I am now eager to start the new open water season, with longer days, warmer temps, blue water, and, hopefully more fish to come. :woot: :whistle:

See you all on MyFishfinder. ;D

Until we chat again, be Safe and Have Fun. ;)

Water Wolf out!


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