Author Topic: My 2018 / 2019 ice fishing reports.  (Read 2175 times)

Offline Water Wolf

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My 2018 / 2019 ice fishing reports.
« on: Jan 06, 2019, 07:07 PM »
Hi all,

Here is the first report for my 2018 / 2019 ice fishing season. ;D

My season started on the afternoon of Dec 14th.
I decided that I would try Fishing Lake, in the area I last found fish during the open water season.

There was 1 truck to the N of me on the ice, however, I parked on shore and walked out testing the ice. 
It was  16" - that should be fine.
I unpacked the pull behind sled, and set up.

It was a nice day on the ice with above seasonal temps at + 1 deg C /34 deg F with only a slight wind but mostly calm conditions and sunny skies.

Now if only the fish will cooperate. 
Well the fish seemed to be as calm as the weather that afternoon until my 3rd move. 
Finally, a fish hits the clackin' rap, not too long into my jigging.

It was this pike. :)

I kept it, hoping to add a few more fish to the total.
However, as it turned out, that pike would be it for me.

The water on the camera was very murky with the visibility at no more than 2 feet or so, not the best conditions for the fish to see a lure. :blink:
I could not tell if any walleye were around, but, if they were, they never came near any of my lures.

As the 2 anglers N of me were leaving they stopped for a chat.
They asked how I did. They said that they were out there for pretty much the whole day with only 3 pike iced.
The water was murky in their area as well.
They said they had several fish pick the bait off, but, avoided their hooks, sneaky fish.

After a bit of a chat they departed as did I once it started to get darker, and colder.

That has been the extent of my ice fishing so far this season.  ::)

I hope to be back out there some time in Jan. hopefully they will be more active then. ;)

Good ice fishing to all of you as well. :icefish:


See you on MyFishFinder.

Offline shawno

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Re: My 2018 / 2019 ice fishing reports.
« Reply #1 on: Jan 06, 2019, 09:07 PM »
Hey WW,

Glad to see you made it out!

Hopefully we will get some more reports soon and the fishing picks up for you!

Offline Water Wolf

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Re: My 2018 / 2019 ice fishing reports.
« Reply #2 on: Apr 22, 2019, 09:12 PM »
Thanks shawno. :)

Hi all,
January 13th 2019 - my first fishin' report for the new year.

I am back at Fishing Lake, in the general area I tried the first time.  I drive on this time, so am a bit deeper. 
I fish from 1:30pm to 5:30pm.
The ice is now 24" thick.

The afternoon temp was - 4 deg C / 25 deg F, with a lite NW wind, and mostly cloudy skies. Fog was beginning to settle in toward evening.

Decent temps brought a fair number of anglers out.  There were 8 vehicles around me with 2 - 3 anglers in each.

The fish were out and about too.  I count 10 pike on the underwater camera, sometimes 3 at a time, but, for the most part they are mildly curious, but, not aggressive enough to bite. :P

Closer to the end of the day I finally get to witness 1 bite on camera.
I am jigging the lipless rattle bait enticing 1 pike, when, from out of left field, a second pike comes flying in and snatches it right
in front of the camera and other fish. 
After a brief fight it's iced.
The results. :)

That would be the only one that makes it topside that day.

I do get 6 small taps and 2 that roll off, just under the ice.

It appears the other ice anglers are having similar luck, with quite a few tripped flags, but no fish, or very few fish iced.

It was a slow day, but no skunk. :whistle:

The 27th was the next and last report for the month of Jan.

I tried my luck again at Fishing Lake from 3:15 pm to 6:00 pm.
The ice is roughly the same thickness as the last time I was out.

It was a cold day with strong winds gusting from the N to NE (not usually a good fish bite indicator, in my experience). The temp was - 14 deg C /7 deg F, but, with the windchill it felt much colder.

The strong wind made things challenging.  The set rod holes were filling up within minutes, so I built a small circle of snow against the wind to slow it some.
I was glad to have had my buddy's pop up ice shack with me, it would have been really nasty without it. :blink:

As far as I could see, there were only 3 other anglers out braving the elements.

The fish's response to the weather was negative too.  I did see 2 pike on camera, but, neither of them were interested, and just hung out in the distance.

Shortly after I saw the first fish my set rod did get a hit and bends.
I set the hook and this small pike is iced. :)

I do get another hit on the set rod, but the fish rips the bait in half, just behind the hook, and is gone.

I did not see any fish iced around me that afternoon, just a few dropped flags.

It would seem that these multiple pressure systems we have been getting in this area, every other day, seem to really be messing with the fish this winter. :-\

I was happy to have found at least that 1 fish to avoid the skunk again.

I hope for more stable weather, maybe that will get the fish a bit more aggressive.  Time will tell. ;)

Hi all,
Well the month of Feb. has been one of our coldest here in SK. in quite a few years.  None of the days were within the normal temp range for the month.   Because of this inclement weather, I was only out twice.

Feb. 17th finds me back out on Fishing Lake facing mainly cloudy skies  and temps  at - 15 deg C / 5 deg F, with a lite wind from the NW.  Tolerable, if your dressed for it.

The ice had really thicked up with all the cold, and I added the extension to my ice auger to be sure I got through. I would say the ice was roughly 40" in most places I drilled.
As a result, there was not alot of water left under the ice, maybe 2 - 2.5 feet, at the most.

I fished from 3:00pm - 6:00pm.

There were 4 other groups of anglers out, some walked, and some drove out.  Not too long after I got there 2 of the groups left.

Today there were fish!!!  Before long there was a light nipping at the set bait, but, no one was hooked - that happened 5 times.

On camera, I could see fish quite often.  I spotted 11 pike, some going by 2 at a time.  I did get to see some of them bite, though a few got off.  At least the show under the ice keeps me occupied between catches. ;)

I did have more luck this day, icing my limit of pike for this lake, and, had 2 roll off while I tried to turn them up the hole.

All the fish went back this time.

One of the fish that I hooked and released had a slight discoloration on it's side, near the bottom. :woot:

When I let it go, it hung around and checked out some of my other lure presentations off and on all afternoon.

The some of others. ;D

This one hit the new PK crossover.

In the end I was happy to finally get a limit.  I hope this upsurge in activity is a good sign for things to come.  The Super Full Moon was close - maybe it had an influence. ???

Feb. 24th was the next and last trip out for this month.
I'm back at Fishing Lake and fish from 2:00pm - 5:30pm.

The weather was mainly cloudy with - 16 deg C / 3 deg F temps.  A strong wind was whipping up and drifting snow from the NW, and we even had a few flurries.  This made the windchill factor much colder.

There were 7 other groups of angers, braving the elements that afternoon. Sometimes a group would leave, but another group took their place. Everyone seemed to be icing a few fish.

One lucky angler I chatted with iced and released a 22 lb pike earlier that afternoon - nice - the big girls are starting to stir. @)

In total I saw 6 pike on camera. One particular fish hung around for a good while checking out my baits.  It finally hit a rigged smelt, but, barley had the bait in it's mouth when it spit the hook.  I could see the strike on camera, but there was hardly a tap on the rod, more like a perch would give.  He's gone!
At the same time, I spot 2 more fish on camera, but they don't stay around.

In the end I iced one fish on one of the set rods with smelt bait, and another jigging a lipless rattle bait.

Opps, blinked. ::)

I kept these 2 pike for a future meal. ;)

Looking forward to a good March bite.

Hi All , March was my busiest month this winter with several milder days allowing me a few more outting.

March 9th.
The first trip was to Last Mountain Lake to see if the annual burbot spawn was taking place or not.

The family accompanied me on this trip as we are all eager to get into a good burbot bite.

We drove on easily, as there was not too much snow on the lake at this time, and found what we hoped would be a likely spot for some action. There were 8 other groups of anglers around us, most just a bit S of us and 1 a bit NW.  There were other groups scattered here and there all around the area.

We fished from 2:30pm - 7:00pm

The weather was so bitterly cold in Feb, and the beginning of March, but, now it seems to be finally stating to improve, with the temps at -7 deg C / 19 deg F, and mainly sunny skies. A fair wind was blowing fromt the NW that still carried a chill.

Once I got all the gear set up for everyone and the camera deployed, I saw fish off and on all afternoon.  Earlier in the day I saw 2 pike, but later on, as the sun got closer to the horizon, the burbot showed up. The final count was the 2 pike, 13 burbot, 2 whitefish and 1 white sucker.

Almost all of the burbot were just passing by, gave my lure just a quick look before proceeding to some predetermined destination. I did finally have 1 stop and hover over the rattling spoon I had baited. I gave it one bump in the sand and it attacked.
I set the hook and the fight was on. As the burbot came up the hole, it curled up into a tight ball, wedging itself just below the surface. The hook popped out, but I plunged my hand into the hole, and scooped her out onto the ice. She was a decent one at 25", and the largest one I saw that day on camera. ;D

I did have one more burbot hooked, but, it rolled into a tight ball below the ice, and the hook popped out and it was gone. :P

I saw a grouping of 3 burbot at once - one looked to be a larger female followed by 2 smaller males.  No one showed any interest in my lure, the big female swam off with them in hot pursuit.

It looked like the spawn was quite close.

I kept my only burbot of the day for a future meal.

March 14th.
This would be our next attempt at finding the burbot at Last Mountain Lake.  We went to the same area.

It was another sunny day at the lake with the temps just at the 0 deg C mark /32 deg F and some wind from the NW.

We were the only ones out on the lake that afternoon. The only other people we saw were 2 vehicles that were moving their shacks off the ice for the season.

We ice fished from 3:35pm to 7:00pm.

It was a bit quieter on camera this time with only 2 burbot seen and 1 whitefish.

The fishing was decent however, and, I had my best day sofar this season, icing 4 fish - 3 pike and a bonus whitefish.

The first 2 pike went for a larger dead bait on my homemaid loop rig and the 3rd pike went for a smelt on my loop rig as well.
Pike 1 was was 37.5" ;D

Pike 2 was 30" with a fat belly.

Looks like she was eating well.

Pike 3 was also 30".

The whitefish took quite a while before I convinced it to bite.  I bet I tempted it for 15 minutes.  Each time it would come in, take a look, and leave, only to come back again. I finally got it to hit by laying my hook and bait quietly on the bottom, as it swam by. In one of those passes it neatly scooped the bait and hook up and was off. I set the hook when I felt my rod bend.
For the whitefish, I switched to one of my lighter action rods, and, it gave me a fair fight on it, with a few decent runs before being iced.

The whitefish was 24" and thick from top to bottom. @)

My buddy wanted to try the whitefish to see what they were like, so it's the only one we kept that day.

We had a few action shots that day. :woot:

Luckily they were caught before they came close to hitting the ice.

P.S- We also saw our first Canada Geese of the year while out fishing that day.
We had seen the first crows earlier on in March.

March 15th.

After the bit of luck at LML the day before, we decided to give it 1 more try again the next day.

When we got there, we found that there were 6 other groups of anglers.  3 groups had set up in the area we were using the day before, and, they had a whitefish and 2 burbot on the ice already, so, we went S from them, but, still in the same genreal area.

We fished from 2:30pm - 7:00pm.

It was one of the best days on the ice we have had this winter for temperature.  The afternoon was sunny, with just a lite breeze at times and + 1 deg C / 33 deg F. The family and our friend all enjoyed being out there.

On camera I saw 4 burbot and 2 ciscos / tullibees.

It seemed that the fish were laid back on this nice day as well.  It was very slow.  In my group I was the only one to ice a fish.  It bit on the set rod that was baited with a large frozen mackeral.  The stiff set rod bobbed and then stayed down. I did a fast walk over to it, felt for weight, and set the hook. The fish responded immediately by peeling off line at a good clip. It did this quite a few times, each time taking more than half of the line on my spool. I could tell by the long runs and hard head shakes that this was a decent pike. The fish also took a while to manuver up the 8" hole each time it was heading for the opening it bolted or simply opened it's mouth and hooked it jaw on the bottom of the ice. After a bit of sweating and manuvering on my part, I slid the big girl up and out. She rewarded me with a few cut fingers as they came in contact with her large side teeth. Oh well, at least she was not injured in our meeting.

She was a nice one at 40.5" long x 17" thick and as it turned out, would be my biggest fish this winter. ;D

She went right back after a few photos, and powered out of there no problem.

Even though she was the only one we found, none of us minded a bit.

A good way to end our trips to LML this season. :tipup:

The last few trips of the season were all to Fishing Lake to end off the season where we started.

March 17th. (St. Patrick's Day).
This would be the next trip out, my family, fishing buddy and I decided to see if the Luck of the Irish was with us on St. Patty's Day.

I set us up close to the  area where I had been ice fishing most of the winter, only this time I went a wee bit deeper.  Thought I would try the same area where I found my big pike the winter before.

We fished from 2:35pm - 6:00pm

It was a busy day out on the ice with 1o groups of angler out.  From what we could see no one was really catching, or even getting nibbles though.  All afternoon, we only saw 1 fish iced by an angler who set up right beside us.

On camera I had 5 pike and 1 walleye come in and check my lures. Most of the pike came in and patrolled back and forth for a bit before leaving without biting at all. The one pike that did bite on camera, came in and studyed the bait and only made it's move when I slowly raised the rattle bait above the fish's head - finally it struck and was iced. :)

My buddy also had a bit of luck icing the 2nd fish of the day, also a pike.

The other family members had 2 hits on their set rods.

In the end, we did have enough for a fish supper.

March 24th.
This time I try a new spot at Fishing Lake.

The weather was sunny with some wind from the E to NE and the temp was - 3 deg C / 27 deg F.   I fished from 2:25pm - 6:00pm.

There was only 1 angler out fishing in the deeper water when I got there and 1 angler pulled up beside me and started fishing half way through the day.

It was a slower day out there, and as usual with winds coming from the directions they were coming from, a fairly typical kind of angling day. In the end I did have 5 pike come in and check things out, but, only 1 was willing to go after the lipless rattle bait I was using. The others seemed to lack the energy to move quicky and they just inched by ever so slowy - no wonder though with the water temp being a frigid 32.9 F, basically liquid ice. :P

The results. :)

In the end, the angler beside me iced 1 walleye, and 1 pike as I was packing up.

March 31st.
This is the last day of the ice fishing season in my zone so the the family, my buddy and I try 1 final time at Fishing Lake in a new spot again.

The weather is quite cloudy with a fair wind from the NW. The temp was a cool - 1 deg C / 30 deg F - not very spring-like at all.
The windchill made things a lot colder. Most of the family opted to watch their set rods from the vehicle while my buddy and I fished in the elements.

I was a bit worried what the ice conditions would be like, but, was happy to see 5 other trucks out on the ice a bit S of where we were going to access the lake.  I did a few test holes, and still found 3.5 feet of good hard ice, phew that's a relief, even so, we stayed close to shore, just to be on the safe side. It was still deep enough at 10 - 13 feet of water under the ice.

We set up and ice fished from 3:25pm - 6:20pm.

The action started off quite quickly, and in no more than 10 min of me placing my set rod, I had a hit. I iced the first fish of the day this pike. :)

While fishing I saw that the water was a bit warmer in this area at 36.2 F. I could tell as the fish were moving about faster as well.  In the end, I saw 6 pike on camera and my buddy saw 2 walleye on his camera. His first walleye came darting in as he was still tring to find his lure on camera. It just came into view when the fish hit. He saw his 2nd walleye come in and bite for him on camera as well. He iced and kept booth his walleye for his limit of the day. @)
Walleye #1

Walleye #2

After icing my first pike I had 2 other pike strike for me on camera, but shake off just under the ice, sheeh. I do get one last hit on my set rod as I am packing up the equipment for the day. I see the rod give several quick taps and then a hard hit that almost pulls my rod stand over. I hustle over as fast I can on the polished slippery ice and set the hook. This fish feels sturdy, judging by the number of runs it gave and head shakes, before it's iced.
This is a decent fish.  I get the loop rig out quickly as it is just hooked in the corner of the mouth and take 2 photos of it before sending her on her way. ;D

This pike had the bottom half of her tail missing, but it didn't seem to diminish her strength in fighting or swimming.

I was going to measure her length, but, forgot the measureing tape - opps. ::)

In any case I am happy to end the season with her and see her swim off hard and strong to hopefully spawn sometime this April.

All in all that was a good way to end this year's ice fishing season. :icefish:

 I am now eager to start the new open water season, until then everyone, be safe, and have fun. ;D :) :woot: ;)2 :thumbsup:

Water Wolf out!

See you on MyFishFinder.

Offline Roberts59a

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Re: My 2018 / 2019 ice fishing reports.
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2019, 10:48 AM »
Nice fish WW! Always enjoy reading how the fishing in that fishing lake area is. I have fished it a few times in the past. Caught one of my biggest walleyes on the little end of the lake around 6 years back. Hope you have great fishing in the upcoming season!  :tipup:

Offline Water Wolf

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Re: My 2018 / 2019 ice fishing reports.
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2019, 04:05 PM »
Thanks Roberts59a. :)
Yeah, It's a fun lake to fish for me and I enjoy testing the waters there.

Good luck in your open water season as well. ;D


See you on MyFishFinder.

Offline shawno

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Re: My 2018 / 2019 ice fishing reports.
« Reply #5 on: Oct 16, 2019, 11:16 PM »
Hopefully you will put up your reports a little sooner this season WW. It is always good to see them throughout the winter.  Send me a PM and letís make a plan for LML this winter.

Offline Water Wolf

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Re: My 2018 / 2019 ice fishing reports.
« Reply #6 on: Nov 06, 2019, 04:22 PM »
Hi shawno,
I will indeed try and post my reports more often this new ice fishing season. :tipup:

Burr, with the weather we area getting the new ice fishing season will not be too far away. @)

Yeah, as we get closer to March madness at LML we will have to try and fish it this winter.


See you on MyFishFinder.


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