March perch bite still slow

 Judging by the number of vehicles on the ice this past Sunday the word is out on East Shoal Lake. Part of a group of three lakes in Manitoba’s Interlake, anglers discovered this shallow body of water was full of master angler perch. In the past two years, more and more ice fisherman have ventured out to try their luck. Heavy deep snow has limited access for the most part but as the March sun melts down the major drifts, those outfitted in big four wheel drive vehicles are managing to get around.  Our group of anglers was making sure we didn’t stay out in a drift by bringing two vehicles with big tires and large clearance, along with a tow rope and a few shovels. 

Luckily for us, none was required.  While we were able to get around to areas we wanted to fish, the bite was tough. Early in the day we caught a few aggressive small males but even these fish had to be coaxed into a bite. Finally about two in the afternoon, we started to get some of the female perch in about three metres of water.  We had a variety of different baits along, including minnows, shrimp, Berkley Power honey worms, but there did not seem much of preference until the end of the day when a minnow impaled through the dorsal on a small upright hook got some bigger fish to commit.

For the first time in four trips we also started to catch some pike, all of the small variety. With heavy snow conditions, and a delayed spring compared to last season, it might be a couple more weeks until the pre-spawn bite really happens.