Ice Fishing

By Bill and Lori Jollymore's In Winter
Our area offers a long period of good ice fishing. Usually from The middle of December until the end of March/middle of April, most of our lakes are frozen solid and offer a good variety of fish : rainbows, brook trout, kokanee, laketrout, burbot. Ice fishing requires a simple tackle, and a hut is not always needed : our area is very seldom windy and very often sunny in the winter. A rod with reel, a flasher and a short leader, up to 18 inches, a hook and baits. Usually dew worms and mill worms are the best for rainbow and brookies, but maggots work too, especially for kokanee. It is very important to add a little ball of paste, like the” magic bait” on top of the hook : the fish get attracted by the smell of it and oriented towards the bait faster in the pitch black dark waters under the ice. For salmonids choose a spot 10-15 feet deep, with sandy or rocky bottom if possible, drop the bait all the way to the bottom and then reel up so that the bait sits a foot above the bottom. Gig it every 30 seconds and wait for the bite. Burbot or fresh water ling cod are very popular in some of our lakes. They are bottom feeders and mainly night feeders, but in the winter they bite all day long. Choose a spot 20-30 feet deep and drop the bait to the bottom. Sit and wait. You can use flashers, but they are not really required with burbot. Use bigger hooks and a big bait, like a bunch of dew worms, 3-4 slices of bacon or a chunck of raw meat. Don’t be afraid of using big baits, because even a small 2 pound burbot has a big mouth and can swallow big bites. Gigging a lure works good too, but you always have to keep the action: the lure cannot sit still like the bait, and ice fishing is also enjoying the view and walk around on the pack, checking the shore for the moose to pop up and keep you company for a while. Gigging a lure requires constant movement and presence by the hole….
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