Author Topic: My ice fishing season for 2017 / 2018.  (Read 2666 times)

Offline Water Wolf

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My ice fishing season for 2017 / 2018.
« on: Dec 05, 2017, 05:44 PM »
Hi guys,
Another ice fishing season is upon us, and I hope everyone is having a fun and safe season sofar. ;D

My ice fishing season started earlier than usual this year.
On Dec. 3rd I went to Fishing Lake  to see how things were there. 
There were a few shacks out, close to shore in one spot, and, 10 or so anglers fishing, but no one was driving on yet. :unsure:

I decided to try a different spot down the lake from the group.

I walked out, testing the ice and as I went, and, found 10" to 12"  of good clear ice with just a skiff of patchy snow. :)
I set up and fished from 2:00pm to 5:30pm.

It was a cloudy, dull, afternoon with just a light breeze from the NW.  The temp was decent at - 7 deg C / 19 deg F.

Not too long into the day, and, the first fish shows up on camera.  A pike sneaks in, hangs around for a few min., checks out my lure, but, no interest.
Once it leaves, I do a lure change, and, get results right away.  I see a dark shape coming tight to the bottom, and, as it got closer, I see it's a walleye. I slowly raise and shake the lure so it looks like an escaping fish.  The walleye then went straight up, hit the lure, and was hooked.  A short fight ensued with a few good runs and the fish is iced.
My first fish, and, my biggest walleye for the day. :)

No sooner did I take the fish off and get the lure back down, when I had another walleye come streaking in, stage left, and just smashed it, another fish on and iced. :woot:

This action was off and on all afternoon.

In the end I saw a dozen walleye on camera, with a few coming in pairs. The 2 fish that came in were the most aggressive and one would try and beat the other to the lure.
I even had a walleye pick the lure up off the bottom. @)

The 3 pike that came by were less aggressive.
My first pike stole the bait off my set rod without being hooked. The 2nd pike was hooked but, rolled off just under the ice. Finally, 3rd times the charm, as I get one more hit on the set rod and ice that pike.

My final results were 4 walleye and 1 pike. 

I released most of my fish during open water season, so, this time, I kept my limit of 2 walleye and the 1 pike.  The 2 other walleye went back.

I tried to take a photo of each fish, but, after my largest walleye, the camera ran out of juice.  Good thing I found that one first.

 The walleye were all in good shape with thick bodies and fat bellies.  Must be eating well.
They measured 16.6", 17.6", 19.3".  The 1 pike was 23".

Here is a shot of the largest walleye of the afternoon at 21"  ;D

I think that night's super moon might have helped to get the walleye fired up a bit.

In the end I was pleased with how my ice fishing season started. :tipup:

See you on MyFishFinder!

Offline tbern

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Re: My ice fishing season for 2017 / 2018.
« Reply #1 on: Dec 05, 2017, 06:02 PM »
Very nice fish! Congrats on a great start to your year!

Offline reddog11

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Re: My ice fishing season for 2017 / 2018.
« Reply #2 on: Dec 05, 2017, 06:50 PM »
Nice walleye
Master Laker taker.

Offline icebucketjohn

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Re: My ice fishing season for 2017 / 2018.
« Reply #3 on: Dec 06, 2017, 05:31 AM »

Ice-Fisherman: We're all highly addicted, shivering, psychotic patients in the asylum of the frigid.

Offline fordman

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Re: My ice fishing season for 2017 / 2018.
« Reply #4 on: Dec 06, 2017, 07:30 AM »
Sounds like you're already having fun  :tipup:

Offline filetandrelease

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Re: My ice fishing season for 2017 / 2018.
« Reply #5 on: Dec 06, 2017, 07:36 AM »

Great start wolf and those eyes are great eaters looking forward to more pics , play safe

Offline randaller

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Re: My ice fishing season for 2017 / 2018.
« Reply #6 on: Dec 06, 2017, 12:30 PM »
Good report. You seem to have forgotten to put the lake name in your post...just thought I would let you know so you can go back and let us know :-)

We are still waiting for ice in Ontario but it won't be long now. Looking at that walleye is making me excited.

Offline Water Wolf

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Re: My ice fishing season for 2017 / 2018.
« Reply #7 on: Dec 06, 2017, 05:40 PM »
Thanks tburn, reddog11, icebucketjohn, fordman, filetandrelease and randaller. :)

Randaller, I did post the name of the lake near the top of the post.
It's called "Fishing Lake" located here in SK.
I will try to update as I go. ;)

See you on MyFishFinder!

Offline HardwaterPiker

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Re: My ice fishing season for 2017 / 2018.
« Reply #8 on: Dec 07, 2017, 04:26 AM »
Is that an ultra light rippin rap and do you have good luck with them? And do you always use steel leaders on them? Looking at putting some in my tackle arsenal to target walleye. Great looking fish and I'm jealous, still waiting on ice.
ICE FISHING - We're all here because we ain't all there!

Offline randaller

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Re: My ice fishing season for 2017 / 2018.
« Reply #9 on: Dec 07, 2017, 10:56 AM »
Thanks tburn, reddog11, icebucketjohn, fordman, filetandrelease and randaller. :)

Randaller, I did post the name of the lake near the top of the post.
It's called "Fishing Lake" located here in SK.
I will try to update as I go. ;)


HAHA. I thought that was joke  ;D

Well done!

Offline ISU_Cake

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Re: My ice fishing season for 2017 / 2018.
« Reply #10 on: Dec 08, 2017, 09:36 AM »
 :thumbsup: Very nice!
Living the Dream

Offline Water Wolf

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Re: My ice fishing season for 2017 / 2018.
« Reply #11 on: Dec 08, 2017, 01:52 PM »
Thanks USU-Cake & HardwaterPiker. :)

HardwaterPiker I was actually using a Northland rippin' shad in the 2.62" size.
I think the ultra light rippin rap would be a good option when the walleyes are put off by the bit larger nosier lipless rattle baits.
It may also work if walleye and perch were both in the same area, as both of them should go for it.

I have used the regular rippin rap and have had good luck with it, both in open water and through the ice. :)

That leader is home made. I made out of 50 lb Berkley vanish fluorocarbon leader material.

See you on MyFishFinder!

Offline mike r

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Re: My ice fishing season for 2017 / 2018.
« Reply #12 on: Dec 08, 2017, 03:16 PM »
good story nice fish be safe and enjoy cant wait to get out

Offline HardwaterPiker

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Re: My ice fishing season for 2017 / 2018.
« Reply #13 on: Dec 08, 2017, 05:30 PM »
Whoops, my bad, should have known it wasn't steel, just looked like it against the black of your coat. I haven't done much fishing for walleye and northern pike with a jig pole. usually use tip-ups, but I am looking to expand my horizons. Thanks for the info Wolf and good luck for the rest of the year. Finally getting some of your Canadian cold air coming into northern NY so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'm on the ice soon.  :tipup:   :)
ICE FISHING - We're all here because we ain't all there!

Offline Water Wolf

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Re: My ice fishing season for 2017 / 2018.
« Reply #14 on: Jan 07, 2018, 03:35 PM »
Hi mike r & HardwaterPiker I hope you are both able to get out soon. :)

Hi guys,
My next ice fishing report is for Dec. 9th.

After my results the first trip out I decided to try the same area at Fishing Lake where I fished from 1:30 pm - 5:10 pm.

It was a mainly sunny afternoon with a only - 1 deg C / 30 deg F temps, but, a fair wind from the NW changing to W near dark, still made it a bit cool.

As I was setting up, a family drove out, set up there shack a ways down from me, and, then parked their truck near shore.
I could see another truck out on the ice down the lake from me.
The ice had not changed at all, still 10" - 12".
I also noticed that a large pressure ridge had formed from the point N of me and had spread diagonally across the lake. Hopefully that will be the only one. :blink:

It took a while before I had some action. My set rod was the first to get a hit.
I saw it bend and dip towards the ice, Fish On!  The first fish of the day was iced. :)

It was like that all afternoon, with a bit of action followed, by a fair lull.
The action increased some as the sun got lower in the sky.

My first walleye came off just as it's head broke the water's surface.  I was able to scoop it out before it twisted back down.
I did get wet up to my wrist, but, it was worth it. :laugh:

In the end I had a good afternoon.  I seen 4 pike and 9 walleye on the underwater camera.
I caught my limit of both pike and walleye for this lake.  ;D

The walleye and 1 of the pike were caught jigging spoons and lipless rattle baits and the other pike went for the usual smelt.

The largest pike was  25".

The largest walleye was 19.3"

The family that was out fishing next to me were having success as well - looked like they iced 2 pike.

All in all I was happy to be out again and have some action. :)

This was my last time out in Dec.
Before the holidays I was too busy. After the holidays, it was too darn cold. :P

Hope get out some time soon in the new year.  :whistle:


See you on MyFishFinder!

Offline bev

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Re: My ice fishing season for 2017 / 2018.
« Reply #15 on: Jan 09, 2018, 07:37 AM »
nice ;D

Offline icefishman

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Re: My ice fishing season for 2017 / 2018.
« Reply #16 on: Jan 09, 2018, 06:59 PM »
Nice haul!!
Catching Any?

Offline patwalshington

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Re: My ice fishing season for 2017 / 2018.
« Reply #17 on: Jan 18, 2018, 10:41 AM »
Nice pics

Offline Water Wolf

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Re: My ice fishing season for 2017 / 2018.
« Reply #18 on: Mar 25, 2018, 07:41 PM »
Thanks patwalshington, icefisherman and bev.  :)

Hi guys,
Here are my reports for the month of Jan., 2018.
Well, a new year is upon us, and, with that, new fishing opportunities. ;D 

The first report is from Jan. 8th.
My uncle and I make our way to Fishing Lake for an afternoon of ice fishing from 2:00pm - 5:40pm.

The weather is decent at -5 deg C / 23 deg F. The wind is lite from the SE, and there is a mix of sun and cloud.

We found a spot on the edge of a group of shacks in a bay and settle in.
There were 6 other trucks in the general area.

Since the last time I was out, the ice has really thickened up due to that cold snap we had in Dec.
I was almost at the full length of my ice auger by the time I made it through. :blink:

The water in this area was quite shallow, with only 3 to 4 feet under the ice.

It was a while before the first fish hit.  I was watching the camera, and, looked up to see my set rod pulling downward.   I set the hook, BANG,
fish on!  After a few horizontal runs, the fish was iced.

It was nice to ice my first fish of 2018. :)

While we were there I saw 5 pike and 3 walleye on camera.
2 of the walleye and 1 pike were larger than average size.

Finally, near dark, I was able to entice one pike to hit on camera.

My set rod got the most action this time.

The total for the day was 5 pike for me, and 1 for my uncle.
Here is his fish.

This one turned out to be the big one of the day at 27". ;D

We kept a couple for a meal and the others went back.

I was pleased with my first fishing day of 2018.

The next report is for Jan.9th.
Encouraged by the day before, my uncle and I decided to try our luck again at Fishing Lake.
We decided to try one of our shore fishing spots, to see if we can still find fish there during the hard water season.

When we were leaving home, it was sunny with quite mild temps.  As we got to the lake, the wind gusted up rolling in clouds and fog.

The temp at the lake was -8 deg C / 18 deg F with a sharp wind from the SE, really cooling things off, and filling in the holes with drifting snow.

There were 5 other trucks near their shelters to the NW of us.

Despite the blustery conditions the action started off quickly for me.
I just walked away from baiting my set rod when it registered a hit.  I waited for a second, to see if the fish stayed on, and, then set the hook.
First fish of the day was iced.
This scrappy little pike. :laugh:

After a quick photo it went back.

I had just rebated, and was setting up my uncle's set rod for him, when my own set rod had another strike.  Another pike grudgingly came up the hole. Wow, fast action! :woot:

After that, things slowed a bit, but still, the action was decent on the set rods.

As the anglers left for the evening, some stopped to have a chat, and, see how the fishing was. Most of them reported 1 - 3 pike, and all reported a very lite bite. It seemed the fish were biting the bait off just in front of, or, behind the hooks, without getting caught - sneaky fish.

In the first area where I placed my camera I only saw 1 walleye pass by. In the 2nd area I saw 2 more walleye and 5 pike.

I caught the largest that day. :)

The final results were 4 pike for me + 2 that got off while I was jigging. My uncle iced 1 as well.

Since we kept a few from the day before, all of these fish went back.

For the kind of day it was, I was happy with our final results.

The cloud and fog hung over us all day. By the time we left, there was freezing rain.

It's Jan 17th and my uncle and I decide to try our luck at a different lake this time - Whitesand / Pelican Lake.

We were on the ice from 1:50pm - 5:30pm

The temp was not bad at + 2 deg C/ 36 deg F, but, once at the lake,  it got cloudy with strong 30 - 50 km/h winds, making things chilly.

We see 8 other trucks, and 1 snowbear type of rig, scattered all around the lake.
We decide to follow the W path down the lake, setting up on the first point where some other shacks were.  There were 3 trucks out there.

It took a while for the first fish to bite, and,  I was able to see it happen on camera. The pike came in fast and hit hard, for a little guy.
First fish of the day. :)

After that there were several longer spells between bites, but, in the end, we managed 4 pike, 2 for me and 2 for my uncle.
We even had a bit of double header action.

My uncle got the big fish that afternoon. @)

I only saw 1 other fish ( a pike) iced by the other groups.

Here is a shot of the sunset that evening.

The next day (Jan 18th).
We went back to try Fishing Lake again for the afternoon, this time in a new area on the N side.
I have always had luck in this area, during open water season, so wanted to try at this time of year.

This area had a bit more snow than the other areas where we have been, and it was more built up where we got on.

Once on, we found a spot, and fished from 2:10pm - 5:40pm.

The weather was - 2 deg C / 28 deg F with a mix of sun and cloud, and, some intermittent wind from the SW.

There were 9 other trucks out on the ice, 3 were close by.
 It was fairly busy, and as soon as one truck would leave, another came out to enjoy the nice day.

I just finished setting up all the set rods, my underwater camera, and started jigging, when one of the set rods had a hit.
I went over and iced the first fish of the day, this walleye. :)

A while later, my set rod got hit again.  Another walleye is iced after a few runs.
This one is larger at 19.5" ;D

Two pike get away.
One of the 2 escapees was a dandy big fish. I was first alerted to her presence when my camera started to violently shake. She had come up from behind, grabbing it in her mouth.  She then hung around my area for 10 min or so.  All the while, I am trying to tempt her with various styles and types of lures.  She came in, and checked them all out, only to leave until the next one was presented.  She seemed to be shopping for the right one, but, none of them appealed to her taste. I finally offered her the largest frozen bait I had -  an 8" herring, and, put it on my own homemade loop-rigs, hoping maybe that would do the trick.  This got her immediate attention and she came right over and snuck up, nose to nose with it.  I gave it one little twitch and bang, Fish On!
Since the area I was fishing was quite shallow, she had no where to go but out, and she did that multiple times. On one of those runs she got herself tangled around my underwater camera.  It was a good distance off, but, she found it.  I could see the camera cable jumping in the cable holder, but could not do too much about that for fear of letting the pressure off the barbless hook.  After finally getting my uncle's attention, he tried to untangle her and the camera, but alas, it was not to be, and, she broke free. NOOOO!  :o  :%$#!:
She was for sure the largest fish I have seen this season.  :blink:

No other fish were caught following that.

I did see a few of the closer anglers ice a pike or 2.

I will be back to that spot some time to see if I can find her again, or 1 even larger. ;)

It's Jan 22nd and my uncle and I are at another new spot at Fishing Lake.
Our mild weather is starting to leave us and it was a bit cooler at - 6 deg C / 21 deg F with a fair wind from the SE.
There was very low cloud cover, and a coating of hoar frost adorned the trees around the lake.

In this area there were a few shacks in groups here and there, but only 1 other angler out that afternoon.
He leaves as we set up, and, we are alone for the rest of the time.

We set up, and fish from 1:40pm  - 6:00pm.

We move to 2 spots before we get on fish, but, once we do, we find a few.

I see a total of 4 pike and 2 walleye on camera.
In the end I ice 2 pike and have 1 walleye shake off, just under the ice. My uncle ices 1 pike.

One of my pike is the largest at 25". :)

We leave the lake to the sound of howling coyotes and barking dogs.

Jan 25th.
My uncle and I are back at Fishing Lake to see what's biting this time.

It started out as nice day at home, but, as we got closer to the lake, it got colder and darker. By the time we were on the ice,
it was windy from the NW, with high humidity / fog and, hoar frost in the trees. The temp was - 10 deg C / 14 deg F.

While there we visited with a few other anglers, before finding our own spot, a little ways from the main group.

I set up and we waited for some action. The fish were slow.  It was half way through the day before we get the first hit on a set rod.
I get the fish (a pike) half way up, but it's just barley hooked and is gone.  With the slower action, I walked to a different area, and try there.
This pays off, and, I ice a pike jigging.

I persist at this spot.  Just as the sun sets, I see what looks to be a log move past the camera and stop below my lipless rattle bait.  I slowly raise and jig as the same time. 
The log comes alive and BANG fish on!

This fish feels decent, and again, it makes several horizontal line peeling runs.  I signal to my uncle that I need a hand.  He hustles over and removes the underwater camera.  Now no chance of wrapping around it this time.  After a few more runs I get her back to the hole.  She opens her mouth once, and blocks it.  I wait until she closes her mouth and up she comes.  She is a chunky one and the 8" hole looks mostly full of fish. After a quick photo or 2 her hooks are taken out and she is free to go. 
She takes her time, but leaves with a splash.

She was 3 feet  (36") long. ;D

We pack up once she is gone and leave with the 1 little pike and a story.

As it turns out this is the last report for Jan.
Feb. is usually slower, for the most part, but, lets hope for some days of action as well.

Here are my reports for the Month of Feb. 2018.

The first one is for Feb. 14th.
My uncle and I took the ladies out the day before for their Valantine's Day supper  :-* so we were good to go fishing today. ;)

We tried our luck again at Fishing Lake in the area that has been fairly consistent for us this winter.

It was a cloudy day with strong winds from the N mixed in with a few flurries and some drifting snow. The temp dropped from - 3 deg C /27 deg F, when we started, to -13 deg C /9 deg F by days end.   

We were out from 1:30pm - 5:40pm

While we were setting up, friends from around home arrived, and, fished for the afternoon with us.

There were a few other anglers out as well here and there in the general area.

Fishing was decent for our little group with myself icing 5 pike and my uncle 1. The others that joined us iced 4 pike as well. :)

We kept 3 for a fish fry and the others went back.

Here is a sample of the action.

I also saw 10 pike and 1 walleye on the underwater camera.

We all left when the weather got a bit worse.

Hopefully this weather warms up soon.

On Feb. 23rd. The family and I thought we would go to the N side of Fishing Lake and see where the "Fish On Fishing Lake" derby was to take place.
After we saw where it was, I though I might as well fish for a bit, so, we moved to a different beach.
I was the only one prepared to ice fish and went 4:30pm - 6:10pm.

The temps were not bad at -6 deg C / 21 deg F, but, it was still a bit chilly with a fair wind from the E.
The sky was a mix of sun and cloud.

Fishing was slow, not a good sign for the upcomming derby. :P

In the end I saw 3 pike and 1 walleye on camera. The pike came in, looked and left.

The walleye was a bit more aggressive and hit without hesitation.  It was a keeper and made a good meal for 1. :)

Feb. 24 and the day of the "Fishing Lake Fish On" derby.
I am up bright and early and off to the derby to get regstered and wait to pick my spot. Once the spot is picked the fun begins trying to chisel through the several inches of ice to reopen the holes that were drilled the day before. I had a spud bar with a chisel on the end.  By the time I cleared away all the fresh ice, it was almost time to start the derby.

I was lucky to have set up around folks I knew from around my area so at least I had someone to chat with. At 12:00pm the bear banger went off and we all dropped our lines down the hole and hoped for a strike. 

There were 400 + anglers out that afternoon so they had a good turn out. I would like to be able to see a shot of the underwater world with all those lines dangling down through the ice. It would be like a forest of lures and lines. :laugh:

There was not too much action to report.  Out of all those anglers, 1 fish, a pike, was iced. I saw the guy running with it an hour or so into the fishing. I think they said it weighed 3.5 lbs, and, won the lucky angler, from Hudson Bay SK., a new side by side or cash. He went with the side by side.  :clap:

There were a few strikes here and there and I could hear the outbursts from few anglers that lost their fish. We did have a bit of acton in my area when a young boy right beside me had a fish on, but, unfortunalty lost the fish before he got it up the hole.  It was really unfortunate, as it looked like he had a big one, and, I dare say would likely have been "the winning fish". Tough break for sure. :-[

At 3:00pm the bear banger went off again signaling the end of the derby. Since there was only 1 fish caught, the other 24 prizes had to be drawn for, but alas, my name was not called for them either, nor was it called for the 50/50 ticket raffles.  ::)
Oh well, at least weather cooperated in the end. At the beginning it was - 20 deg C / -4 deg F, but by the end it - 3 deg C / 27 deg F with sun and a lite SW wind. :whistle:

Feb. 25th and I am back at Fishing Lake hoping to make up for no action at the derby.
My uncle, friend, and I try the spot where we have had the most luck this winter.

We get there at 1:30pm and fish untill 5:50pm.

The afternoon is sunny with a temp of -6 deg C /21 deg F, but, as the day goes on, the temp drops to - 12 deg C /10 deg F. The wind is steady from the W to SW.

The fish still seem to be in a slump. I see several pike on camera, but, none of them seem interested at all in what any of us have to offer.

In the end we ice one pike. It's kind of a duel catch. My buddy reels in the fish and I maneuver it through the hole and hoist it from the water. :)

It was 5.2 lbs on the scale.

It's his first one of the season so he keeps it for a future meal.

Feb. 28th is a mild day, so, my uncle, aunt and I are back at Fishing Lake for a part of the afternoon.
We set up a bit deeper this time, just off of our usual area.

We ice fish from 1:15pm - 5:40pm

It's a nice afternoon to be out, the temp is only -3 deg C / 27 deg F, the sun is shining, and, the wind is lite to calm at times.
The good news is, the fish are biting today.

In the end all the bites happen on our set rods. I ice 3 pike and my uncle 2.
We should have had a few more, as 3 get off, before being iced. :P

I see 5 pike on the underwater cam, but only one of them strkes for me, and, that's one of the fish lost.

First fish of the day. :) 

We even get into some double header action. @)

A shot of the moon as it comes up even before the sun has set.

I am glad to see the action has picked up, hopefully it will continue into March.

See you on MyFishFinder!

Offline Water Wolf

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Re: My ice fishing season for 2017 / 2018.
« Reply #19 on: Apr 08, 2018, 10:29 PM »
Hi guys,

Here are my ice fishing reports for March, 2018. ;D

The first report is for March 2nd.
On this day the family and I change things up a bit, heading to Last Mountain Lake.  We were curious to see how the fishing was there, and, to learn if the burbot spawn was on yet or not.  We try around Rowan's Ravine.

When we get there, we are greeted by very strong winds.  Ice Shanty Manitoba refers to Lake Winnipeg as "Big Windy", but today, Last Mountain Lake is Big Windy, in SK.  It seems that most times, when I have been there, winds are gusting.  :blink:

The rest of the family were happy to watch me fish, in the wind, from the comfort of the truck.

The wind was whipping across the ice from the NE at 25 to 37 km an hour.  At that speed, anything not well secured was, "Gone With The Wind".
The temp was mild at -6 deg C / 21 deg F, but, with the wind chill, it was considerably colder.  Sun and cloud came and went all afternoon.

We were out from 1:40pm to 5:40pm.

The fish were quite active, and we caught 7 pike, using jigs and set rods.
This was our best day so far this season, number wise, and, size wise, with several quality pike and one nice big one.

The big one was my 2nd fish of the day.  When she hit, she upset my rod holder on the bare ice, pulling my rod right down the hole.  The wind polished ice made a fast retrieval a bit difficult, to say the least, so, by the time I got to the rod, all  I saw was the rod handle sticking out of the water. It was hanging on by nothing more than a rubber band I had wrapped around the reel handle to the rod holder.  Good thing I added it, or, I would have lost that rod for sure. I grab the rod, and feel for the weight of the fish, yup, still there, set the hook, and the fight is on. Its a pike that takes several long, line pulling runs, before it grudgingly comes up the hole. At one point it opened it's mouth blocking itself from coming up, neat trick.  Finally it's up and we take a photo and send her on her way.  As she powers away she splashes water in my face as a thank you.

She is my largest fish so far this season at 38".  @)

At that point, my day is made already, but, the fish keep coming after that.  In the end I ice 6 pike, and my uncle ices 1. :)

We even have a double header, with my uncle and I both icing a pike each.  ;)

All the fish are released to fight another day.

Part way through the day I see a group of 3 anglers setings up.  Before we leave, I see them ice 1 pike for sure.

By day's end, no burbot showed up, but thankfully the pike kept us entertained on line and on camera.

Hope this kind of action keeps up for the rest of March.  Time will tell.   

The next report is for March 10th.

The family and I decide to try our luck at the N end of Last Mountain Lake, in the regional park area.

No difficulty encountered getting onto the ice as the access to the lake was nicely cleared.

We followed a trail out on to the lake, and headed N.  When we decided on a promising looking spot, we got off the main trail, and I set up.
My uncle and I were the only ones fishing that day.

We fished from 3:20pm - 6:05pm.

The weather was nice, with mainly sunny skies, and a temp of - 3 deg C / 27  deg F.  The wind was lite from the NW to calm at times.

There were 3 other groups of anglers E of us, near shore, and, another 3 groups fishing closer to the park entrance, in the area of the spring.

During our time on the ice, I saw 2 pike, 2 large walleye, a small perch and 2 tullibee's / ciscos.

I had the luck that day, icing and releasing 3 pike.  :)
My largest one was 38.3".

The next day, (March 11th), we went back to LML's regional park area, from 1:15pm - 6:30pm, to test our luck again.

It was another nice afternoon out on the ice with temps just at 0 deg C / 32  deg F, sunny skies, and, a lite breeze from the SW.

There were 8 other groups of anglers here and there around the regional park area, enjoying the nice day as well.

One group of anglers had set up where we were the day before, so we moved up the lake, and set up in the middle of a bay.

This area turned out to be a decent spot.  While I was still setting up, my set rod had a bite, and I ice the 1st fish of the day.

Over the afternoon I ice 3 more pike and my uncle gets 1 as he is checking the bait on his set rod.

All the pike in the regional park area seem to be a decent size.
 None of the ones we got there were under 30", with the biggest one that day at 38".  @)

They all go back to spawn this spring.

We had 3 bite offs, and I also got a hit from what felt like a really large fish.  I fought with it for a few min before it took a powerful run snapping my rod just above the handle.  Without the rod to back it, the line breaks and the fish is gone.  I never did see it's true size, but, it sure felt like a big one, judging by the runs it took.  :o

I also see 5 pike on camera, with 2 of the 3 bite offs happening right before my eyes. :P

P.S. -  I see on Ice shanty that Ira484 was the person who cleared LML's Regional Park area.
            Thanks for doing that, much appreciated, it gave us all a fun weekend.  :thumbsup:

On March 12th my uncle, aunt and I try our luck back at Fishing Lake.

After the dump of snow we had, it was tough going onto the lake.  The first access point we tried was completely blocked.  Only snow machines were using it ,so, we tried a 2nd access point, and found a heavy, winding trail across the ice to where we usually set up.  It was a white knuckle trip with a bit of slipping and sliding trying to stay on the track. At one point, we slipped off the trail and got hung up, but, with a bit of rocking back and forth we were able to get back on track again.  We find a spot where we get turned back toward to the trail off the lake, and I set up.

We fished from 1:18pm - 5:20pm.

It was the 3rd nice day, with sunny skies, - 1 deg C / 30 deg F temps and just a lite wind from the SE.

While we were fishing folks we knew, came along. They were going to take their shack off, before it got too late in the season.
We chatted for a bit before they went looking for the least amount of deep snow to pull their shack through, not a lot of options out there, lots of deep, hard snow.

My uncle was the first one that day to have his set rod hit. He iced a pike.

He had another hit, but came up with half a bait.
Once a new bait was added that same rod got hit again, and this time the pike was hooked.

He kept this fish and I found the other half of the bait in it's stomach.

I also hook one pike jigging a spoon and chunk of bait. It came in quick, looked at the lure for a second, and hit as I raised and twitched it.
This one was a bit larger than the 1st 2 pike.

My last fish of the day would prove to be "the big one".  ;)
While fishing in front of the camera I see what looked to be my set rod gone from it rod holder - again!  I run over and discover that the rod is bent in a large C shape and pulled mostly down the hole. I grab for the rod, get it out of the holder, feel for weight, and set the hook.  This prompts an instant reaction, with the fish peeling over half my line in one burning run.  This happened numerous times. The fish peels out my line, and I fight to wind some back on.  This tug of war goes on for more than 10 minutes, more or less.  It finally relents enough to come near the bottom of the hole.
Once I get her that close I cannot get her turned to pull her up the hole.  I though she might be hooked in the back and I was pulling her back up against the hole.  My uncle finally came over to see what was up, and, discovered my dilemma.  I handed him the rod, and run for my underwater camera so I could have a look to see what was really going on down there.  I set it on down view and took the rod back.  I was shocked.  There was a really big head, and a large eye peering back into the camera.  In the corner of the mouth I could see my hook barely into a thin bit of skin.  Is that all that was holding her?  It's barbless!!  Oh no!!  The head was so large that it kept sticking past the hole and that was why I could not get it  to turn up.
I thought, "what the heck am I going to do now".  :-\  I don't use a gaff for fear of injuring any fish that I want to release, and, I didn't have anything else with me that could aid in helping it up and out.  Finally after several more min of slowly trying to maneuver the big head up the hole, and several failed attempts that ripped off more line, I finally angled the head enough that the bottom jaw pointed my way and  UP SHE CAME!  :blink:  :o  :woot:

What a pike she was.  I have never seen one that large in my life, let alone caught one.
She just kept coming up and up out of the hole and had to compress a bit, in the belly, to come through that 8" hole.  Once out, my aunt, uncle and I were all in shock at it's overall size.  There was no time to waste if she was to be safely released, so, after a few fast photos and measure, I took one last look at her and let her go back into the depths to grow even larger, and produce more of her kind.

She was 45" long and 26 lbs.  @)

She powered off with 2 strong slaps of her tail that sounded like a beaver slapping the water.

That made my day and season right there.  We decide to pack up and were off.

I was going to register her in this years online tourney, but realized with the time change, (day light savings time), I missed the final deadline by 20 min.  :unsure:
Oh well at least I got to experience a fight with my biggest pike yet and am happy to know she is still out there to grow even bigger.  ;)

March 22nd and my uncle and I are back at Fishing Lake in the same spot where I found the big one.

As we drive to the lake the temp begins to drop, the wind picks up, and a fog blanket blows in - not good.

The fog finally clears just before we get to the lake, but, for most of the day, there is thin cloud cover.

Despite it being only - 6 deg C / 21  deg F, it's chilly, and feels damp, with the sharp NE wind.

We get to the lake and again maneuver on the twisting, winding trail, to our destination.  Traffic has it a bit better packed down this time.

We find ourselves alone on the lake for most of the day. One other angler sets up in a shack to the S in the late afternoon.

We fish from 1:25pm - 6:45pm.

Fishing starts off slow with only a few nibbles, bending the rod, and stealing the bait, but, very lite biters.

Finally, later in the afternoon, 1 fish finally hits hard enough to get hooked and iced.

In the end I ice 3 pike and my uncle 1.  We keep 3 for the table.

Here is my uncles fish.  :)

I see 4 pike on camera, 3 just look for while at what I have and leave. The 4th fish is a bit more persistent and hangs around teasing to bite for 15 min or so.
It was interested in a lipless rattle bait, but, would just look, sometimes bumping it, but not strike. When it  would swim off I would give the rattle bait a few shakes, but could not entice it to taste the offering.  It came up and eyeballed my camera, popping it's jaws in what I think is some form of intimidation display.  When the camera didn't move the fish swam off.

Unable to forget the lure of the lipless rattle bait, it returned again.  I quickly showed it a dead smelt on one of my homemade rigs and it finally took the bait.

We decided 3 fish was enough, so, after all that, it was lucky and went back.  :laugh:

I saw several Canada geese and heard a crow that afternoon.
The Canada geese have been back for a few day now, but that was the first day I heard or saw a crow. They are later than usual in this area.

March 29th.
The family and I decide to try one last time at LML to see if we can locate any burbot.  :-\
We decide to try on the W side of the lake this time, near Etters Beach.

The afternoon is a sunny enough, and it looks nice out, but looks can be deceiving, and, when you step out to fish you get blasted with a rush of arctic air.
The temps were - 19 deg C / -2 deg F and the wind chill that afternoon made it feel like - 28 deg C / -18 deg. F.  The wind was whistling down the lake from the N.
The weather repots said that this and the next few days would be some of the coldest weather anywhere.  I believe them.

Once at Etters Beach we follow the only trail there S down the lake. We see 2 other vehicles in the distance.  Once we get to the area I chat with the anglers for a bit.
As it turns out I met a fellow IceShanty membert and his group.  Nice to met you guys and finally put a face to the name.  @)

We move a bit further out and N of the group and I set up.
We fish the area from 2:45pm - 6:40pm.

The fishing was slow that afternoon.
In the end I iced 2 smaller pike. :)

I also saw a few fish on camera. I saw 2 pike, one of which came in fast and hit hard, 2 cisco / tullibee, 1 good sized walleye and 1 burbot.
Every once in a while, I would pan my camera around and see if anything was around me. Once, while doing this, I saw a burbot laying completely motionless tight to a rock.
It was just lying there motionless. When I saw it I dropped my lure to the bottom and pounded it a few times.  The burbot stirred and slowly swam over.  It moved it's chin barbell over the lure once, and then in a flash, inhaled.  The lure went in, but alas, it was not to be, and, the burbot got off when it twisted into a tight ball just before coming up the hole.  I could see it swim off, faster this time, into the distance and was gone.

The 2 pike went back to spawn again.

Here is one of them.

They were both the same size.

March 30th.
I decide to end my ice fishing season on the lake where I started it, Fishing Lake.

The family accompanied me on this trip.  When we got to the lake the conditions became nasty, and I am, again, the only one who wants to fish.
I opt to sit it out in the elements with my hood pulled tight, and back to the wind.

It's another cold day, in fact, this has been the coldest end to the regular ice fishing season I have had in a good long while.
The sun is shining, but the wind is whipping from the NW and the holes are either freezing quickly or are filling with blowing snow.
The temp is a freezing - 17 deg C / - 1 deg F and with the wind-chill it's -26 deg C / -15 deg F.  It feels more like January or February than spring.

Despite the cold temps I tough it out from 2:20pm - 6:30pm.

The fishing is still slow, but, better than the day before.  In the end, I catch and release my limit of walleye for this lake and 1 pike.  ;D

I see 5 pike and the 2 walleye on camera.  The pike were in not an aggressive mood at all, and would only look at the lures and leave.
The walleye showed a bit more aggression.  As the first one came in, it checked my lure and ate a piece of smelt lying on the bottom.  When I dropped my lure to the bottom it went for it and was iced.  The 2nd walleye came in fast, and, was going to hit the lure, but a pike showed up at the same time and the walleye veered off.  Once the pike turned to leave the walleye shot in again and hit the lure as I raised it up.

The only pike iced that day, hit a set rod.

I packed up for the season, after letting the pike go.

I left the camera to the last, and, as I was panning around, one last time, I saw a fish approaching.  It was a pike, and, by the looks of it, the largest I  had seen all day.  I watched it for a few min before pulling the camera up.  My last underwater image, was it staring directly into the camera, a fitting last look and end to my season. ;)

I would like to thank all of your shared interest and stories.
Thanks for coming along on my journey this season. I hope you all had a fun season as well.  :woot:

Good luck during this new open water season.  :)
Until we chant again, have fun and be safe.  ;)

Water Wolf out!

See you on MyFishFinder!

Offline filetandrelease

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Re: My ice fishing season for 2017 / 2018.
« Reply #20 on: Apr 09, 2018, 04:25 AM »

Well Wolf looks like another successful ice season along with great pics thanks for sharing

Offline perch chacer

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Re: My ice fishing season for 2017 / 2018.
« Reply #21 on: Apr 18, 2018, 08:26 PM »
Looks like you target a lot of pike and some nice size ones.  Do any of the lakes around you have yellow perch, their excellent eating and fun to catch a limit.   Good job.

Offline bart

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Re: My ice fishing season for 2017 / 2018.
« Reply #22 on: Sep 10, 2018, 07:37 PM »
Great season there, awesome pics too! Bring on the ice!
"Many fish their entire lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after."-Henry David Thoreau


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