Lake Winnipeg wins round one

Leaving Winnipeg at six in the morning we were the first truck to venture out on the frozen surface of Lake Winnipeg. A group of anglers had decided to walk out but previous reports indicated a good solid base of ice, 16 inches on the average. Soon the ice was covered behind us with vehicles. Along with me this day was Steven Wintemute from Hooked Magazine and Darrin Bohonis, another friend.

I was driving with Vince D’Angelo who I had met through the Fish Futures banquet committee. The four of us headed north onto Balsam Bay to be stopped by a huge ice ridge about a mile after driving on the lake. Setting up along the ridge we decided to put up our portables to keep out of the steady rain that was falling this morning. Yes, that’s right rain in the middle of December. It would later make the roads pretty slippery, a consideration when we decided to leave a little earlier than normal at the end of the day. As Darrin showed me the new features on the GPS Unit mounted in tandem with my Ice 55, I could only marvel at the technology. With a Navionics chip of Lake Winnipeg I will be set for the winter on all my ice fishing ventures to this part of the world. Best yet the GPS unit can be popped of the ice fishing mount and put on the mount in your vehicle. I will have more on this amazing unit in another story.

My usual fishing partner Jim Price was about an hour behind us. We saw him a short time later about a quarter mile way. While I marked one nice fish on my Ice 55 to start the day, I did not get him to bite. Meantime Jim had hooked up with four fish right away. And it was to continue like that for the rest of the day even though Vince I matched Jim and his two friends spot for spot and hole for hole as we moved around the lake. Our total for the day was two perch, with Darrin and Steven catching one walleye total. Not so Jim.

My one fish, a perch came on a Live Target

Jim and his two buddies caught six walleyes at the end of the day in eight feet of water, making their total 16 for the day. Jim caught 12 of them. Part of the reason that they did so well is mobility. Drill, fish for 15 minutes and see if you are marking fish. Try and catch them two different ways. This is how Jim did it for your future reference...a still line with jig and minnow which has his flasher set up...he periodically will come over and look at the flasher and jig..if he sees a mark, he will move his jig to trigger a bite...he will move it anyway even if he doesn't.

He doesn't use a flasher on his aggressive rod..he just works the column with a longer rod, and sweeps his jigging rapala up slowly and then on a slow drop. He had a full minnow on the bottom treble. When the fish are scattered like yesterday I think this is the key... yesterday we should have started in eight feet, moved out as the day went on, and then back shallow. I won't make this mistake twice.

Okay, round one to Jim.

Merry Christmas