Author Topic: My ice fishing reports for 2020 / 2021  (Read 1338 times)

Offline Water Wolf

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My ice fishing reports for 2020 / 2021
« on: Jan 20, 2021, 12:11 AM »
Hi Guys,
Winter is here, and, with that, a new socially distancing ice fishing season begins.
:icefish:

Here are my ice fishing reports for the month of December 2020.


Dec. 7th.
This was my first ice fishing attempt this winter.
I started out for a species I don't often fish for, trout.

I went to a privately stocked trout pond and ice fished from 2:15 pm - 5:00 pm.

Since the pond is aerated, I made sure to stay close to shore as the ice was only 8" thick.
Not wanting to test my luck with any thinner ice, I set up there.
I was in 7  feet of water over a thick coontail weed bed.

It was a nice afternoon with the temps at + 1 deg C / 34 deg F, a lite breeze from the W, to slightly stronger winds by the time I left, with mainly cloudy skies.

The trout let me know right away that they were around.
My first drop down with the camera, a rainbow charged in and banged it's nose off the lens. Humm, more aggressive than I would have though. :o 
The trout then swam over to the set rod and gave the bait a few lite taps, but, that was it.
When I went to set the hook it was already gone.

An hour into the trip and I hook into my first trout, and fish, of this new ice fishing season. ;D
I watched as the rainbow came up from the bottom left of the screen close to the camera, hitting my lure as I move it up and away.
After a few runs, the trout was iced. :)


While waiting for the next bite, I soak in the quite peacefulness around me.
For most of the time there is nothing but silence. The only sounds I hear are that from nature, be it a raven croaking as it flies by or a few magpies calling from the trees beside me.

I also noticed that there were quite a few deer and even a few moose tracks on the ice.

While fishing, I heard something walking in the bush beside me. I kept alert, but, whatever it was it didn't show itself while I was there.

An hour and half before I quit, another trout came in and give the lure a bit of a nip. It then circled back and come straight up at the lure. I again slowly raise and jiggle the lure and it lightly grabs it.
The strike was not hard but it's enough get hooked and the fight was on again.
This one was a bit larger and gave a better tussle before coming in. @)


In the end I see 4 rainbow trout on camera and ice 2 of them.

The 2 trout were kept for a future meal.


After filleting, I saw that both rainbows had their stomachs stretched as tight as they could be.
Both fish were stuffed full of sticklebacks, small fathead minnows and shrimp. 1 trout even had a live water beetle in it's stomach.
The fish were not hungry at all, but, still had to go for that one last mouthful and I am glad they did. :laugh:

Both rainbows were caught on small Rapala Rippin' Raps, in a UV finish.

In the end I was happy with my start to the new ice fishing season. :woot:



Dec. 9th.
This would be my next trip out.  My destination - Fishing Lake.

It was another nice afternoon with mainly cloudy skies, but, the sun did peak out by the end of the day.
The temp was good at + 1 deg C / 34 deg F and there was some wind from the W.

I got to the lake and found that the spot I picked had blown in with deeper snow near the shore.
No matter, I was walking out anyway and tested the ice as I went.
Right at shore it looked like waves had frozen, and, it was quite uneven.
Further out, the ice looked like it had broken into chunks and refroze sometime earlier during freeze up.
I made sure to test often, and found a consistent 12" of ice. Good deal.

I ice fished from 12:30 pm - 5:00 pm and in that time made several moves in the 5 - 7 foot depth range.

There were a few other anglers out too.
One person was in a pop up shelter a fair ways N of me and 2 other walked out for a while near sunset.
I didn't see anyone ice a fish or get a bite. :blink:

Halfway through the trip I has 2 pike show up on camera at the same time.
One of the 2 fish came over grabbed my camera and gave it a shake while the other pike watched from the background. It seemed that both fish were a bit on edge with each other. They both eyed each other and circled the lures cautiously for 20 min, before 1 of them finally hit the smelt and loop rig I offered them. When I saw the pike grab the smelt, I just opened my bail and let the fish swim off with the bait. When the fish stopped moving away, I set the hook, and the fight was on, spooking the other pike in the process.
This pike gave a decent fight before it was iced. :)

I kept it for the next day's meal.

The ice fishing season is generally the time I do keep a few fish to eat.
That's when I feel they are the best table fair.

I did get another hit, and brought the pike right up the hole, only to have it come off just as I reached down to pull it out, sheesh. :blink:

Right at the end of the day I had 1 more pike and 1 walleye came in to see what I was offering, but, after a quick check, neither one saw anything that they wanted, and, moved on.

Before I left, I had to get a photo of the colorful sunset that evening.
I call it "Fire & Ice".


All in all, I am happy to have had the good weather I did, and not to be skunked in the process.

On the way home from the lake I stopped in at the town of Elfros SK. to see one of the homes there that has really put on good light shows during the holiday seasons for the last few year. This year was no exception. The house, yard and surrounding area was lite up in many fancy lights, blow up figurines and other whimsical decorations. If you tune in your radio to a certain channel you can hear Christmas music while all the light in one area of the yard move in time with the music. It's really quite something to see, and I was quite impressed. :) It is well worth the look if you are in the area. They are up a while after Christmas as well.

In the end that would be my 2 trips for the month.
I am looking forward to fishing in the new year.

I would also like to wish everyone a safe and happy new year!
Good Fishing All!
:tipup:


P.S. Couple of other pictures to share.
On Dec. 18th this male snowy owl was sighted not too far from home.


It's the earliest I have seen them in this area.


WW
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Offline Raquettedacker

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Re: My ice fishing reports for 2020 / 2021
« Reply #1 on: Jan 20, 2021, 04:37 AM »
Nice report and pictures WW..
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Offline sebago2jigtima

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Re: My ice fishing reports for 2020 / 2021
« Reply #2 on: Jan 20, 2021, 04:47 AM »
great report and pics !
 :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Offline Water Wolf

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Re: My ice fishing reports for 2020 / 2021
« Reply #3 on: Jan 24, 2021, 04:34 PM »
Thanks Raquettedacker & sebago2jigtima.  :)

WW
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Offline Missileman

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Re: My ice fishing reports for 2020 / 2021
« Reply #4 on: Jan 24, 2021, 04:52 PM »
Enjoyable read. Hope you keep it up

Offline reddog11

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Re: My ice fishing reports for 2020 / 2021
« Reply #5 on: Jan 30, 2021, 12:06 PM »
Nice fish
Master Laker taker.

Offline Water Wolf

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Re: My ice fishing reports for 2020 / 2021
« Reply #6 on: Feb 05, 2021, 06:45 PM »
Thank you reddog11 & missileman. :)

I will keep up the reports fore sure.
Here is a new one now. ;)


Hi Guys,
A new year is upon us with hopes of a good year ahead. ;D

For most of Jan./21 the temps were above normal, but it did involve a few major wind events, with SK seeing record wind speeds and whiteout conditions. The temps dropped around Jan 23rd and got really cold. A cold dose of reality for us.

It did warm up a bit on the last day of Jan.

Here are my ice fishing reports for the month of January 2021.


Jan 3rd.
I start off the new year at Fishing Lake.

The day was a mix of sun and cloud, with strong winds at 35 km/hr. from the SW, but, at least the temp was nice at +1 deg C / 34 deg F.

I tried 2 locations to see if I could find the fish.
location 1.
I fished this area from 12:35 - 2:30 pm.
The ice had thickened since I was last out. It was now 19".

While in this location I didn't have any strikes nor did I see any fish go by on camera. :-\

location 2.
This was also on Fishing Lake just the opposite side of the lake.
I ice fished here from 3:15 - 5:30 pm.

There were a few anglers out in this area.
1 was closer to the area I set up in, and, 8 others were a long way N of me.

This area was out of the wind and pleasant.

This turned out to be a good move as the fish let me know that they were around. I first placed the set rod and was working on getting the underwater camera setup, when the set rod bent over, and stayed that way. After a bit of a fight the fish was iced.

This pike would be my first fish of the New Year and biggest of the day at 28". @)


Not long after that I get another hit and fight the pike to the hole, but, just as it's coming up it pulls the hook and is gone. :P

I get one more chance as the shadows from the cabins start to stretch long across the lake.
Another pike hits and is iced.
This one was 26".


That 1 set rod was in the spot to be, as it got all the hits. It landed me the 2 fish and the 1 I lost + I had 6 lite taps on it.
The fish would just pull the bait, but, let go when it felt a bit of resistance. Lite biters for sure.

I also saw 5 other pike on camera, but, none of them struck. They all took good long looks at the lure / bait before they left.
1 pike hung around for 10 min or so, just patrolling and then moved off.
I also saw interesting behavior from one of the pike. This fish swam in and settled belly to the bottom under and against a thick clump of weeds. It looked like it settled in to either ambush prey going by or to monitor my lure. It sat there for a min. or 2 eyeballing my lure all the while, before slowly swimming off.  I found it interesting to watch. @)

Before I left one angler came over and chatted, from a safe distance.
They said they had no luck at all that day, but, the action was decent in early Dec., before it got thick enough for everyone to drive on.
They now are finding the fishing quite slow in general.

It seems to be a common pattern this time of year, in this area of SK., but, I can still hope for the odd good day nonetheless. :whistle:


Jan. 4th.
Spurred on by the previous day's action, I try my luck at Fishing Lake once again and set up in the exact spot that I found the fish the day before.

It's another decent day with sunny skies and just a bit cooler at -6 deg C / 21 deg F. The wind is calm to just a very lite breeze from the W.

I am out from 3:00 pm - 5:15 pm.

There was hardly anyone else out that day, just 2 trucks and a snow machine far to the N of me.

Fishing was a bit slower. It took an hour for the first fish to show.
I had 2 pike come into the camera at the same time. One came in from the left and the other from the right.
The one from the right yielded to the one on the left. The left pike shot up at my lure like a coiled snake, and was hooked as I slowly moved the lure up and away from it. It's always neat to see a fish strike on camera right in front of me. It hit a lipless rattle bait.

After a bit of a fight, the fish was iced. It was 26".
I don't have a photo of this fish as my device ran out of power before the fish was caught. :P

That would be the total action for the day.
Even the hot hole and set rod from the day before seen no action this time.

In the end I saw 6 pike on camera, but only 1 of the 5 hit.

The ice really started to make loud deep booms towards the end of the day. I could literally feel it through my feet.
It sounded like a deep rumble of thunder, but, from under the ice. :o
There were no more fish seen on camera once that started. I am not sure if that would make a difference to them, but, it was enough to make me jump, along with the water in the holes. :woot:

All in all, I am happy with my results for the 2 days considering how slow it has been to date. :)


Jan 9th.
On this trip, I am back at the private dugout to see if I can find a trout again.

I was out from 2:50 pm - 5:18 pm.

It was another decent day for Jan. with temps at -3 deg C / 27 deg F, mostly sunny skies with calm to some wind from the SW near the end of the trip.

 The ice did thicken up a bit to 12", but, I stayed in the same general area as before, with the same weed growth and depth below me.

The water under the ice was moderately clear.
I tried several lures, but, there was nothing showing up to test them out.

I finally got a hit an hour and a half later while jigging a discontinued 2" perch colored rippin shad from Northland lures.
I had a rainbow trout swim in from above the lure, dove under it, and came straight up at it.  I could see the fish's white belly clearly as it swam up. Upon seeing and feeling the bite, I set the hook and the fight was on.
This was one of the best fighting rainbows I have ever hooked. It gave several long runs out to the side and good head shakes in an attempt to get free, but it was hooked well in both the top and bottom jaw and was not coming off. I did get a bit worried that it might cut the line as it pulled it hard against the sides of the hole from one way and then the other.
In the end I did ice it and was now looking at my new personal best rainbow trout, woo hoo. ;D

This one was 21" long and fairly thick.


That would be the action for the day and I didn't even see another trout after that, but, at that point I didn't mind when I had a new PB in a species I don't often fish for.

I did keep this one for a future meal, and when it was cooked it looked and tasted quite like salmon. @)
The only difference being that the meat was not as firm as salmon usually is.

This trout was full of little sticklebacks 1" - 1.5" long, but even being that full, found the little lipless rattle bait irresistible. Good thing too. ;)


Jan. 31st.
On this trip I decided to try a lake I have not ice fished for some time, Whitesand Lake also known a Pelican Lake.

When I got there I could see a fair number of permanent ice huts in various groupings around the lake.
There were also 12 other trucks out in various spots around the lake. 4 were in the same general area I would try.

I got to a spot that had produced for me in the past, (in open water and through the ice), and set up.
As I got there an angler a bit deeper than me, iced a pike. At least there is some action in the area.

I set up and ice fish from 3:10 pm - 5:45 pm.

It was not a bad afternoon with cloudy skies and falling snow. A lite wind blew from the SE and the temp was - 9 deg C / 16 deg F.

I did not take a measurement, but, the ice looked to be nice and thick, judging from the depth on my ice auger.
It's still best to always check the ice thickness for yourself, just to be safe.

The fish were indeed around as I saw them on camera.
Over the afternoon I saw 5 pike & 6 yellow perch. Both species were mildly interested in my offering.
I was not really set up for perch, as my lures were way too big. Perhaps with a perch sized hook I may have tempted a bite from them.

Within 1/2 an hour I had some luck, and I iced my first fish of the day.
This pike. @)


Half hour later, another pike is iced. :)

It was a bit bigger than the first.

I also had 2 nibble on the set rod that day.

While I fished, several ravens flew by to see if any of the anglers out there happened to drop some of their bait or other scraps.

In the end I left the lake to the sound of howling coyotes to the E as the sun began to set.

All in all it was a good end to the day, and the month in general. ;D


P.S. - The last day of Jan. was day 1 of a 3 day ice fishing adventure, but, those are future reports. ;)2

WW
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Offline Water Wolf

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Re: My ice fishing reports for 2020 / 2021
« Reply #7 on: Mar 16, 2021, 04:56 PM »
Hi Guys,
We are into the heart of winter now.
The first 2 days of Feb. were above normal, but, on the 4th, the temps really started to drop. We were seeing dangerous temps and extreme wind-chill warnings. The really cold weather lasted until the 19th of Feb. in my area. Wind-chills were in the -30 deg C / -22 deg F and -40 deg C /-40 deg F ranges. It even  dipped into the - 50 deg C / -58 deg F.  At that temp, exposed skin freezes in a matter of minutes, so, for a good chunk of Feb. I stayed indoors, only venturing outside when I had to. ::)

Here are my ice fishing reports for the month of February 2021.


Feb. 1st.
Like I said in my last Jan. report, this a continuation from my 3 day ice fishing adventure.

The idea was to try Margo Lake this time, but, when I got to the lake, the edge and trail onto the ice looked really chewed up. No one else was out there, and, not wanting to get stuck myself, I opted to try a different lake.
I ended up at Whitesand / Pelican Lake. I figured I might as well go back to where I had luck the day before.

There were already 4 trucks out on the ice. I set up a good distance from them, but, in the same general area that I was in before, and, ice fished from 2:50 pm - 5:45 pm.

It was a colder and windy afternoon. The sun did try to shine, but, the clouds kept it hidden most of the time. The temp was -8 deg C / 18 deg F,but, the strong wind from the SE gave some cold wind chill values.

For quite a bit of the afternoon I kept busy clearing the holes of drifting snow. 
It looked like I was fishing out of the snow most of the time.

Over the afternoon, I only saw 1 angler go for their tripped tip-up flag,but, the fish was off before he got to it.

I did see some fish life on camera, 3 pike and 1 walleye.
The first pike came in not too long after I set up the camera, and hit my lure, but, with a closed mouth, more of a ram hit. It then went over to my set rod, gave that a nip and left.
The other 2 pike and walleye passed by with just a slight glace towards the lure.

I did have some luck, icing 2 pike on the set rod.
Pike 1

I caught this pike on the same rig Yukoner has talked about before, a bluefox rattle spoon with a bit of pike skin.
I set it up on a wind rod so it constantly jigged.

Pike 2.


I had 1 more tap on the set rod, near sunset, but, it was a lite tap, that hardly damaged the bait at all.
Even with a lite tap from a pike you will see teeth marks, but, not on this bait. It could have been a walleye or perch, not sure.

On the way off the ice I saw 4 deer right by the edge of the lake coming out to feed for the night.
They were sheltered and out of the wind.



Feb. 2nd. (Groundhog Day)


It's Groundhog Day!
Some of the groundhogs here in Canada predicted an early spring, but, others said 6 more weeks of winter.
Whichever it is, 6 more weeks of winter is an early spring here in SK. lol. :laugh:

With the luck I have been having at Whitesand / Pelican Lake, I though,  I might as well go 3 for 3 days there, and with that, I was again in the same general area where I had luck the last 2 days.

When I get to the lake, 2 deer are in the same spot as the night before, not moving from there food or shelter at all.

I drive out, find my spot, and ice fish from 2:30 pm - 6:00 pm.

It was a nice day out on the ice, with temps only at -4 deg C / 25 deg F, a mix of sun and cloud, and, some wind from the SE switching to the S.,then calming to a lite breeze near dark.

This nicer weather brought quite a few vehicles out. I counted 12 trucks and 1 van on the ice. 6 vehicles were set up around me, but, we were all well distanced.
Not sure how the anglers in the shacks or pop up tents did, but, the ones I could see outdoors seemed to have no action.

Over the afternoon I saw 4 pike on camera, but, only 1 gave the lure a lite tap.
I got a unique view of 1 pike when it came in and positioned itself just a bit below the lens of my camera, looking directly at the lure. I could see down it's back and along the top of it's head. It made me think of those camera shots, you see when divers attach a fin cam to a shark on the shark shows.  It just posed for that glimpse and then was off on it's way. :woot:

My set rod was alot more active, scoring 4 pike from 3:00 pm - 4:00pm.
That's some of the best action I have had for quite some time.
Pike 1.


Pike 2.

This was the big one of the day.


Pike 3.


I would have had a photo of pike 4, but, I didn't have a good grip on it, and, just as I picked it up out of the water, it jumped out of my slippery hands and back down the hole, like an arrow, oops, there it goes. :P

While I fished, I was entertained by watching the antics of an energetic border collie. ;D
She was a younger looking female and was all over the lake, literally. She kept busy by visiting all the anglers on the lake and doing patrols from one side to the other, keeping those howling coyotes from bugging her or us. No matter where she went, she kept returning for some reason, guess she knew somehow that I like dogs. ;)
I didn't mind at all, and, was happy to interact with her. She kept busy around me by looking into the holes, and digging in the snow. She also found a piece of old bait fish someone dropped, and rolled right into it, getting into the spirit of fishing maybe.
I lost my last old dog in March of 2020, so she was nice to have around and was good company for me. :)

Just before dark the dog's owner came looking for her on a snow machine. When they found her, she hopped on with them, and off they went home.

In the end it was a fun day on the ice all round. ;D



Feb. 21st.
It's been a while since we have had some half decent ice fishing weather, so I jumped at the chance to fish, when it came around again.

I return to Fishing Lake, to see what I can find.
This time I was going to try a bit deeper. I had a spot and depth in mind that I wanted to try.

When I got to the lake I find a trail out to the intended area and set up, with walleye as my target species this time.
I find the depth I am looking for and set up, from 2:15 pm - 6:05 pm.

The weather is a mix of sun and cloud for the first half of the day, and then, straight cloud cover the other half.
The temp is at - 1 deg C / 30 deg F, but, the strong winds from the SW and high humidity still made things cold.

There were a few other truck out enjoying the day too. I counted 12 as far as I could see.

Not too long after setting up, I had a pull on my set rod. It went down and up, but, nothing on.
The bait didn't even have any teeth marks on it. Usually with a pike strike, you see lots of teeth marks, so my thought was that it might have been a walleye.

At 2:40 pm the set rod was hit again.
This time the bend stays in a curve, I set the hook again, for good measure, and, the fight is on.
Finally the first fish of the day and first walleye of the year.  :)


That would be it for fish iced this day.

I did have another 2 hits.
One fish stole the bait right off the jig without getting hooked and the other pulled the rod down, but, was not hooked.

The underwater camera was also quite active with a total of 9 walleye spotted. @)
All of them were individuals and most of them were interested in my offering, but not enough to actually bite. Some walleye followed the lures up and down for a good distance only to turn away when they were right on it.

As the light underwater faded near sunset, I saw the largest walleye I have ever seen on the underwater camera. :o
It had to be a big female. Most of the walleye were more or less cylindrical in shape with just a bit of a belly, but not this one. She had a large stomach that hung low past her pectoral fins. She slowly circled the bait with her dorsal fin erect and all the confidence in her size. She also gave the camera some very close encounters, sliding right past it, taking up most of the screen. When she went further off I could still follow her as I could see the white tip of the tail and white outer edge of the anal fin. She even went  so far as to bump the lure several times, but, no hit. Maybe she was one of the fish I lost earlier and was not going to eat again for a while, who knows. I do know that she gave me a good look at her for nearly 8 minutes, before finally fading off into the gloom.

I really wish I could have hooked into that one, but, that's the way it goes. ::)
I now have a reason to try that area again. ;)

I didn't see anyone else ice a fish that day.
One group had a flag pop, but, their fish got off on them. :tipup:

Even though it was slower day, I was still happy not to be skunked.
If a person could hit these walleye on an agressive day, I think there might be potental for a good day on the ice.

This would also be the last ice fishing day in Feb. for me.
Here's hoping that the action picks a bit up in March. ;)

On a side note, the first brave messengers of spring are starting to show up already. @)
Horned larks made their way to my area shortly after it started to warm up a bit.
I will keep an eye out for more signs of spring next month.

I also have a couple photos of a few brave birds that stuck with me all winter.
This pair of ruffed grouse have been seen in my yard off and all winter long. 

When they hold still they can be hard to spot.

The little drummer birds usually come out an hour before sunset to feed on willow and poplar buds and the few remaining crabapples that are left.


This little guy was eagerly watching me, just a few feet from my head.

He was hoping that I would quit taking photos and fill the bird feeder already.

WW
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Offline KatJohn7

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Re: My ice fishing reports for 2020 / 2021
« Reply #8 on: Mar 20, 2021, 07:36 AM »
Great read well done sir

Offline Water Wolf

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Re: My ice fishing reports for 2020 / 2021
« Reply #9 on: Apr 09, 2021, 07:19 PM »
Thanks KatJohn7.  :)

WW
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Offline Water Wolf

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Re: My ice fishing reports for 2020 / 2021
« Reply #10 on: Apr 09, 2021, 07:21 PM »
Hi Guys,
Well, here we are into March, with warmer days, and, signs of spring showing up weekly.
In my area, the Canada geese came a bit earlier than usual.  My first sighting was on March 6th.
The crows were a bit early as well, arriving back to my yard on March 11th.  I spotted a merlin on the way to the lake on the 13th, and a ground squirrel / gopher on the 17th. Hawks and bald eagles showed up at the end of the month.

Here are my ice fishing reports for the month of March.
I had more trips out ice fishing this month than any other. ;D


March 6th.
My first trip out this month finds me back at Fishing Lake.

As I drive to my intended spot, I pass 2 anglers fishing.  From a safe distance, I inquire how their fishing has been.
One answers, "nothing today so far", and the other said, "terrible, worst winter for me yet".
Well, that's not good news, but, the slow fishing this winter is a common response from all of the anglers who have spoken with me. I wished the 2 of them luck and continued on, hoping things might improved later in the day.

I find a promising looking area further down from the 2 anglers, get set up, and ice fish from 3:25 pm - 6:40 pm.

There area a dozen other vehicles spread out over the ice as far as I could see. Most were trucks, but a few were snow machines.

It's overcast and misty, with some wind from the S that picked up near dark. The temp was +4 deg C / 39 deg F.

I only saw 2 pike on camera this time out. The first pike came ripping by the camera and lure I was jigging, and, hit the set rod a few feet away. It just kept going with the bait in it's mouth. I gave it a bit of line before stopping it with a hook set. After a few runs the fish was iced.
It was one of my larger pike this season. ;D

It went back after the photo.

As the water began to darken and details on the screen faded, I had another pike come in.  It eyed the camera for a few seconds, then, turned and attacked it. After a few shakes, it let the camera go, making a quick circle and sliding up to my lure.  After assessing the lure for a short time, it struck! The fight was on.  I can see it now, just at the bottom of the hole.  As I maneuver it to turn upward, toward the surface, 1 of the trebles hooked into the edge of the ice and it rolled free, and was gone...  :P

That would be the action for the day, but, at least I was not skunked.


March 8th.
I am back at Fishing Lake, but, in a new spot this time fishing from 3:30 pm - 6:00 pm.

Its a sunny afternoon with some wind from the NW and periods of calm with + 4 deg C / 39 deg F temps.

I count 8 other vehicles out on the ice to the S of me.

I go to set up my camera, but, find it has no life in it. Oh no!  Oh well, I pack it back up, and fish old school, without electronics.  This will work just fine, but is not my choice.  With the camera, at least if I'm not catching, I have something to watch and console myself in knowing there are fish down there. :-\

At 5:00 pm I hook into a walleye with a jig and a minnow. ;)

I decide to keep this one. Good thing too, as that was it for the action that day.

In the end, it was not too bad a day on the ice.

Once at home, I recharge the battery, and, the camera was up and running, for the next trip out.
Last time I used the camera, I forgot to take the clips off the battery and must have left the power button on, thus, no battery power. A problem easily solved. Note to self, always make sure the camera is disconnected from the battery when not in use. :whistle:



March 13th.
I am on Fishing Lake again, in search of walleye.  This time, in a bit deeper water.

I set up on a deeper flat and fish from 3:20 pm - 7:00 pm.

It's another nice sunny afternoon with + 5 deg C / 41 deg F temps and a very lite wind from the E to no wind at all at times.

Lots of folks were out this time, possibly the most I have seen all season.  I count 18 other vehicles, mostly trucks and, a few quads, spread out all over, a good distance apart.

Over the afternoon I saw 5 pike on  camera. I did get 2 of them to strike for me, but, lost 1 just under the ice, and, the other came off when the bail on my rod slipped a bit during the hook set, creating a freeing slack in the line, sheesh. :P

Finally near the end of the day, the set rod registers a hit. I walk over and ice a walleye. :)

It was a slower day for me and as far as I could tell, it appeared my fellow anglers found it the same.  Didn't hear or see any real catch excitement around me.

The set rod got 1 more hit, but, it was just a lite tap behind the hook.

A few Canada geese were flying around announcing their arrival and scouting for their next ideal nesting location.

With weather like we were enjoying, fish were a bonus.  The sun was strong enough to start to feel pretty warm against your skin. 


March 14th.
Back to Fishing Lake for another day. Pike hunting in shallower water this time.

I found an area that should work and set up, ice fishing from 3:15 pm - 7:20 pm.

It was a sunny afternoon with wind from the E to SE, slowing down near dark.  After that, it began to feel damp.
The temp was + 6 deg C / 46 deg F. I am enjoying these days above freezing.

There were 8 other trucks out on the ice, 4 of which were in my general area.
2 folks were busy removing their shacks.  It's getting that time again.  Everyone had left before 4:00 pm.
I never noticed anyone ice a fish in that time.

Not until the sun began to dip in the sky, and, the shadows grew long, did I have any fish action. The first fish hit at 6:05 and then for 45 min all the action exploded at once. In that time I caught 4 pike and had 2 that rolled off just under the ice. :)

Pike 1
[

Pike 2


Pike 3


This is pike 1 and 4, which I kept.


The 2nd pike I caught, was the only fish I actually ever seen on the camera this day.
I was walking back from unhooking my first fish of the day, when I saw a pike on camera staring intently at the lure I had been jigging. It then slowly began to move closer, and when I gave the lure one small twitch it struck fast and hard. I set the hook and watched the fight play out on camera. When I saw the fish pointing upwards moving up the hole, I looked down and guided it the rest of the way to be iced.

Not sure why the fish took that long to bite, but, was a great end to the day, tying my best day this ice fishing season. Here's to more days like that! ;D




March 17th (St. Patrick's Day).


Top O' the mornin' to ya all.
Today is St. Patrick's Day and I though I would see if the luck of the Irish was with me today.
I did this by visiting the spot on Fishing Lake where I had the luck before.

It was a fine afternoon with with sunny skies, + 3 deg C / 37 deg F temp, and calm most of the time, with just an occasional lite breeze from the W.

I found the spot where I was before, and, set up, ice fishing from 2:30 pm - 6:15 pm.

There was 1 other angler in my general area and 5 other vehicles further out over the deeper water.

Not too long into the fishing, myself, and, the other angler, were paid a visit by the conservation officer.  Everything checked out fine.  The officer chatted for a bit ( from a safe distance), and said that everyone he has spoken with this winter has been reporting slower than normal fishing days, with most having no luck at all. After our chat, he wished us both good fishing and carried on.

It was a slower day than last time out. I seen 1 pike on camera who just circled the lure twice and swam away. I had 3 very lite taps on the set rod. All they did was give the bait a nip and tug where there were no hook, but, that was it.

The angler fishing beside me grew tired of the slow action, and decided to leave just a few min before 6:00 p.m. 
He had no sooner left when, at exactly at 6:00 pm, I get 1 more hit on the set rod.  I feed it a bit of line and, this time, was able to set the hooks. A brief fight occurred, and, I made sure I could see the pike clearly before I tried bringing it up the hole.  I wanted to avoid any more jaw hooking or hooks digging into the ice this time.  I had 1 on, and, was trying to keep it that way. It worked, and, the pike was iced.  After a photo it went back. @)


Considering how the day was looking, I am happy to have had that wee bit of luck after all. :tipup:

I hope everyone had a healthy and happy St. Paddy's Day.





March 28th.
It's been a while since I have been out, but, today I return to Fishing Lake, hoping for some fishing action.

Right beside the lake I spot a young bald eagle flying along the road.  Interesting to see - I have heard that sighting one is supposed to be good luck - well, lets hope. ;)

It's a nice sunny day with a few lite clouds, however near dark the clouds did roll in.
The wind was strong from the SE, but, it was + 8 deg C /46 deg F, so it was still pleasant out.

The ice was still nice and thick (3.5 feet or so), with no signs of rot yet.  I would guess about 20 other angler were out enjoying the fine day as well. 

I drove out with the vehicle, but,  stayed close to shore in shallow water ( 7 - 8 feet), just to be on the safe side. I set up and fished from 2:20 pm - 7:00 pm.

Fish were around.  The walleye were the first to show up, in the bright sunny part of the day, and, the pike came in later on, when it got a bit cloudier and darker. That seemed a bit unusual, the walleye were behaving like pike, coming out in the sun, and the pike were behaving like walleye, showing up when it got darker.

Over the afternoon I saw 4 walleye and 6 pike.

The first walleye to come through, was the most aggressive. It came in, and, 4 times, slowly circled the jig and minnow. Then, without being hooked, neatly picked the minnow off the jig. I could still see the same fish, lurking in murky background, so, I quickly re-baited with a fresh minnow.  This drew it in again, and, it bumped the bait. I thumped the jig and minnow on the lake bottom trying to entice a bite. Slowly it reconsidered the presentation and turned around.  It crept in along the bottom, and, sucked in the whole lot. I could see the walleye swimming away chewing on the minnow, so I set the hook, and, the fight was on. After a brief, but, spirited fight the fish is finally iced.

It was chunky walleye, built like a little football, probably full of eggs, so, after 1 photo it went back to spawn this spring. @)


Later on, the pike showed up, sometimes coming in 2 at a time. I had a pair of fair sized pike hang around my area for at least 20 min. They were only really interested in the larger herring I presented them. They would both come in, bump the bait and give it a real good look. The 1 pike with a ripped lip was the more aggressive of the 2, and, it even nipped the bait once, but, just behind where I had the hooks positioned. Eventually, they both move off and other pike came by.

The last pike to come in was the largest I had seen on camera this season. She was a big one.  She made everything else I had seen all season look small. She came in, out of the murk, and, did a fast strike at the lipless rattle bait, turned around and bolted off. Then, I'm guessing, what she must have done, was lined up the lure again, off camera, and, in an instant, my lure just vanished in a blur from the right. We fought for a bit, and, I witnessed some of it on camera.  She was twisting and twirling with purpose. She wrapped herself up in the line, and, somehow, was able to tear the hooks free. My last image was that of her shooting off into the gloom, away from the camera, and me, holding a slack line, Nooooooo! :o  :'(
It was a bit of a downer for sure to lose a big one like that, but, that's why they call it "Fishing" and not "Catching". That's how those fish get big, they are cagey old fighters who know all the tricks. :flex:

As I am packing up near dark, I snap a photo of the rising full "Worm" moon.

It was not visible long before it was hidden behind thick clouds.

In the end, it was a nice day, weather-wise. I was not skunked, I did find one of this season's largest walleyes, and I tangled with the biggest Pike I had the pleasure of encountering this ice fishing season as well, so I can't complain. ;)

Hope to be out for the last day of the season. We shall see if the weather cooperates.


March 31st, (Last day of the ice fishing season).
I am out for one last ice fishing adventure, and I thought I will end it were I started, Fishing Lake.

I am happy to be out again after 2 very nasty days, (March 29th & 30th), of winter weather.
There was nothing spring-like about that.  We got whiteout winter conditions, winds over 100 km/h hour, in some areas, with cold temps and power outages. March certainly went out like a lion here. :blink:

As I get to the lake, I see there had been freezing rain. Oh goodie, now there will be slippery conditions to deal with. I was about to find out how slippery when I tried to walk out onto the ice. The snow on the lake had melted the last day I was out, so, there was some water pooling in places, and now, with the extra cold, freezing rain, and high winds, what existed was a highly polished ice surface to try to navigate.  Skates may have been a better choice of footwear than the boots I was wearing. It made hauling my gear in a sleigh in 1 hand with the ice auger in the other very challenging. After some fancy footwork, I managed to stay upright and settled on my choice spot for the day.
I was back to the spot where I had seen the fish last time. I was not too far from shore, but, it still took quite some time to safely arrive. I was really wishing I had my ice cleats with me.  :wacko:
I get set up and stay put - no running and gunning today.

I ice fished from 3:15 pm - 7:30 pm.

There were 5 other vehicles out on the ice. Not too long after I set up, they all left. 1 other angler sets up out in the same general area a bit later. He started out on the far side of the lake, drove right across the middle and set up. Not sure how they did, they left just a little while before I did.

The weather was mainly sunny with + 1 deg C / 34 deg F temps. The fair wind from the S kept things on the cool side.

Over the afternoon I saw 4 walleye on camera, but, only 1 of the 4 really checked out the bait before moving on.
I am sure 1 of them gave me the fin, as it was leaving.

No pike were seen at all this time.

I did have some action however, and I was able to ice 2 pike.  ;D
They both hit one of my own tied Y / predator rigs with a smelt for bait.

Pike 1.


Pike 2.


They looked like twins, same size and everything.
After a photo they both went back to hopefully spawn this spring. :)

That would be all the action I had for the afternoon and as the sun began to to sink in the western sky
I had that song "The Final Countdown", going through my head. :whistle:


And so, as the sun slowly sank on the final day of the hard water season, I was happy to be out to experience it one last time and not be skunked.  :thumbsup:
I will not be going for stocked trout even though it's still open in April.
I am now eagerly looking forward to what the new open water season will bring. ;D

I would also like to thank all of you for coming along with me this season. I have enjoyed preparing each report. :icefish:
I hope to see you all again on MyFishFinder in May, until then, be safe and have fun. ;)2

Water Wolf signing out!

See you on MyFishFinder!

Offline Raquettedacker

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Re: My ice fishing reports for 2020 / 2021
« Reply #11 on: Apr 10, 2021, 06:18 AM »
Love your stories and pictures.  You had a great season.  Congratulations on all..   👍
Strangers stopping strangers just to shake there hand.
         The successful life were living has us feuding like the Hatfields and McCoys...
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Offline filetandrelease

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Re: My ice fishing reports for 2020 / 2021
« Reply #12 on: Apr 10, 2021, 09:00 AM »

 Thanks for sharing , Water Wolf 👍
 

Offline mr.clean

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Re: My ice fishing reports for 2020 / 2021
« Reply #13 on: Apr 10, 2021, 09:14 PM »
Water Wolf congratulations on your ice fishing season. :clap: :thumbsup: Thank you for sharing the trip reports and photos.
 Steve

 



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