Category Archives: Fishing Northern Ontario

Ice Fishing Tip #8 – Look for the Lunkers

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…And by lunkers were meaning Lake Trout! It seems like lake trout are easier to get to in the winter. Read more about it in OutdoorsCanada.com ice fishing tip #8.

"Winter is unquestionably the best time of the year to catch lake trout because the fish are generally easy to get to, they never stop feeding and you don't need any special equipment. Winter's also the best time to catch a trophy laker of eye-popping proportions if you concentrate on big lakes with a history of producing big fish. You usually catch the largest trout from the biggest lakes because the fish can find places to hide from anglers for the number of years it takes them to grow to trophy proportions. Bigger waters also offer a smorgasbord of high-quality forage such as ciscoes, shad, smelt, suckers and whitefish. Finally, big trout lakes typically have plenty of bait-filled shallow areas the fish don't inhabit in the summer because the water is too warm. But that isn't a problem in the wintertime, and the plentiful food supply becomes available to them."

 

Ice Fishing Hut Reviews

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Bit by the ice-fishing bug? Here is a great guide by Cabela’s to help you make a hut purchase.

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Ice-Shelter-Buyers-Guide/1345288.uts

This webpage provides descriptions of the different styles of ice-fishing huts, like flip-style and cabin-style, and suggests some factors to consider before buying (e.g. weight, size, thermal materials). Follow this guide, whether it’s Cabela’s huts you are interested in or another make, and it will help minimize the chances or rushing into a purchase and ending up with a tent that isn’t right for you.

Happy shopping! 

Alone on the Ice

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Who says ice fishing requires company. One of the great things about fishing is the time is leaves for relaxing, thinking, and just enjoying the silence. Ice fishing is a great opportunity to appreciate the slower pace. With a nice fishing hut and a little planning, it’s easy to stay warm and well fed while out there on the ice. Cell phones optional.

Ice Fishing Tip #7: Wait for the Walleye

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Outdoor Canada's ice fishing tip #7. Wait for the walleye.

"While dusk and dawn are the prime feeding periods for walleye, dusk is the more active of the two. But this daily feeding frenzy develops much earlier—usually 30 to 45 minutes before sunset—than most anglers realize. That's because walleye are triggered to feed when the light fades fastest, which in early and mid-winter is when the sun is sitting on or just above the horizon. So make sure you're out on the ice at least an hour before that, waiting. That way, you'll often be catching the fish when other anglers are only just walking onto the ice. Also be sure to pre-drill plenty of holes—covering a variety of depths—in advance of this half-hour whirlwind of activity so you can follow the wave of walleye."

Boats & Places Magazine

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Boats & Places Magazine is a great resource for anyone looking to purchase a new boat or accessories. In the insider's buyers guide there are many reviews of new models.
With specs, prices and photos of 1800 models. Browse around, compare models and prices and even watch reviews of select boats all in one place.

Ice Fishing Tip #5 – Drop into the Zone

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Here is OutdoorCanada.com's fifth ice fishing tip – drop into the zone:

"Pike epitomize how most fish feed in the winter-by looking for the silhouette of their prey against a light background. This makes the underside of the ice a magnificent backdrop. Indeed, pike are at their feeding finest when they can capture soft-rayed forage swimming above them in the water column. Black crappie, lake trout, perch and walleye behave similarly, so it's always important to present your bait or lure at the fish's eye level or above—never below. During mid-winter, it's equally important to monitor your sonar for crappie, perch, pike, trout and walleye streaking upward, particularly in lakes with free-roaming forage such as alewives, ciscoes, shad, shiners and smelts. These baitfish graze on plankton-microscopic plants and animals—that move closer to the surface in the winter when thick ice and deep snow reduce the amount of light that penetrates the water."

Ice Fishing Tip #4 – Serve up the option

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Here is tip #4 from OutdoorCanada.com.

"Most provinces permit ice fishing with two lines, so why not maximize your chances by offering something different on each line? When chasing crappie and perch, rig one line with a tiny, 1/32-ounce jig tipped with a maggot or wax worm, and the other with a bigger, more colourful, 1/16- or 1/8-ounce jig tipped with a lively emerald shiner hooked lightly through the lips. For walleye and sauger, drop a lively minnow tethered to a jig down one hole (use a tip-sensitive deadstick rod hanging over a pail) and aggressively jig a spoon or swimming jig in another. With pike, set out a foot-long, freshly killed ciscoe or sucker on a quick-strike rig in one hole, then jig a spoon in a second hole. Finally, for lake trout, jig with a rod in each hand—one baited with a white, scented Exude or Berkley Power tube on a 1/8- to 3/8-ounce jig (the best winter lake trout combination) and the other rigged with a Williams spoon or airplane lure. When you jig with two rods like this, you can increase your odds of success even more by working different depths."

Stay tuned for more! 

The Bayside Dock

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While browsing through poetry on HelloPoetry.com, we found a great poem that really describes the joy of being on the dock in the warm weather. This poem brings on fond memories of sitting dockside in the summer and gets us excited for the weather to get warmer. Enjoy! 

Bayside Dock

by Devin Blazejowski

I sit on the old wooden panels 
Making up the bayside dock 
Not a sound to be heard 
A single lantern providing 
A small amount of light 
In a sea of darkness
I stare into the water 
Seeing nothing but black 
It's as if 
If I were to jump 
I'd fall endlessly into an abyss 
In the distance are the silhouettes of trees
Bordering the water
The horizon just barely looking over 
Trying to get a peak 
I touch the water 
A ripple races through 
Like broken glass 
It's on the old wood panels 
Of the bayside dock 
I find happiness

 

 

 

Smart Ice Fishing Snacks

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A day of ice fishing is not all about the food. It's about getting out and enjoying the outdoors, the good company (or quiet) and, of course, the sport. Even though the food plays a small part in the enjoyment of the day there are several important things to consider when packing snacks for the day. Food brought with you on the ice fishing trip should be easy to transport and prepare and keep you satisfied and energized.
Considering these factors will allow you to focus on fishing and not how hungry you are. 

We have collected a few great suggestions for food to bring out the ice.

First, dehydrated foods. They are light, filling and nutritious and will allow for easy transport and preparation and avoid spoilage. Good dehyrated foods to consider include beef jerky or dried fruit. You can also consider the more expensive dehydrated meals found at your local camping/fishing store for more of a meal. 

Second, granola. There are endless possibilities in the world of granola. Bars, cereals, premade or homemade. You can collect your favourite grains and nuts from around the house and add to your favourite cereal for a loaded snack. Filled with protein, sugar and fibre, it will keep you going all day. 

Third, energy bars. A compact, convenient treat that's ready to go and filled to the brim with energy. These speak for themselves. 

Fourth, the classic sandwich. There are a world of sandwich options and your taste determines which way to go. Easy to prepare and store, sandwiches make the perfect lunch while on the ice. 

Last, drinks! Brining along a selection of hot and cold drinks will keep you hydrated and warm all day. Pack a few thermoses of hot water to make tea, instant coffee or hot chocolate throughout the day. Hot water can also be used to make instant soups or oatmeal. Cold water is also very important to keep you hydrated, which in turn will keep you energized and warm.

Do you have any great snack suggestions for a day of ice fishing?  Let us know! 

See you on the ice! 

Ice Fishing Tip #3 – Head for the Roll

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Here is Outdoor Canada's third ice fishing tip. They say to "head for the roll".

"From a structure perspective, the easiest lakes to ice fish are shallow and flat-bottomed with little structure. These are my favourite lakes for catching crappie, perch, pike, sauger and walleye because the fish concentrate in just a few isolated deep holes. Deep, of course, is relative—if most of the lake is less than 12 feet deep, a cavernous, fish-filled winter pocket may be only 17 or 20 feet beneath your boots. Note that the fish in such featureless bodies of water tend to stick close to bottom, so you often won't spot them on your sonar screen. But just drop a tiny jig tipped with a minnow, wax worm or maggot into a barren-looking hole and you'll see the panfish rise up from the bottom to intercept it. The same goes for the bigger predators, using a larger spoon or jigging lure. In late March and April, on the other hand, these shallow lakes are prone to oxygen depletion, so your sonar will often show the fish hovering in the water column. When this happens, forget about using live bait and adopt a much more aggressive jigging approach."

Check back soon for tip #4!