Author Topic: My ice fishing reports for 2020 / 2021  (Read 578 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

Online 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..
Strangers stopping strangers just to shake there hand.
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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

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

Online 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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