Whitefish in April


A jigging spoon fish
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.  
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.


 Friend Pete 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!