Snowmobile in tow we were headed to Shoal Lake
Ontario and our annual late ice adventure for the jumbo whitefish that swim in
these pristine waters. A very late thaw, along with flooded ice roads, made the
use of snowmobile by far the best mode of transportation. It was a beautiful
Friday morning when we hit the lake. The major ice road was still in decent
shape so we were able to drive out five kilometres on the lake to an area we could
park the truck.
|A jigging spoon fish|
|Pete relaxing on the machine|
After unloading the snow
machine and other equipment, my GPS got us pointed south towards the main portion of this huge body of water. In the past we've had the best luck for whitefish out
towards the main lake and the myriad of islands that dot the entrance to this massive body of water. Twenty minutes later we started fishing
a shore line drop off in 35 feet of water.
I managed one beautiful 25 inch whitefish in the first ten minutes but
after that things got awful quiet on our flashers. We quickly packed up and
moved down the lake to another area we had fished in the past. Finding 51 feet
of water, I quickly had on another whitefish, this one racing off the bottom to
swallow my Lindy Techni- Glo Flyer. For the next couple of hours the action was
consistent, with fish showing constantly on our flashers.
Hiebert had switched over to a small white glow jig tipped with a pearl two
inch Gulp grub. He would drop the 1/8 ounce jig to the bottom and raise it two
feet up. If he saw a fish come up off the bottom, he would keep reeling it up
to see if the fish would chase. The whitefish would usually take the small jig
20 feet off the bottom. I tried a variety of different techniques but the
arrival of a cold front with snow really turned down the activity level of the
fish. We fished almost to dark but had
virtually no bites the last three hours of the day. While it was one of the slower ice fishing
days we have had on this lake, it was certainly the most peaceful. We had the
whole lake to ourselves other than three seagulls and four eagles keeping an
eye on us. The stillness and lack of noise was special.
|Pearl Gulp worked on a tough bite!|