Ice fishing season is in full swing up north!

 Jim Price fools a Lake Winnipeg fish on a spoon
At the start of every ice fishing season anglers are looking for information that will help them be more successful. The funny thing about all of this, is that in my years in the business, there are many things that have been tried and forgotten only to be reinvented. I can remember fishing for stocked trout on a small gravel pit with a light flutter spoon some 25 years ago.
 Here is that rainbow from the archives!
The slow flutter and drop of this light spoon was a great trigger for these aggressive rainbow trout. Tipped with just a small power egg for scent, these rainbows could not get enough. While this type of presentation doesn’t work at all times, it really comes into its own when fish are on the hunt over large areas, including sand bars and extensive mud flats. It can also be deadly along weed lines. The flash and drop of a light spoon will call fish in from a long distance and even if the fish that come to it don’t commit, they will stay in the area for a little bit. This allows you to catch them on something more subtle, like a stationary bait. That is the beauty of the two rod system allowed during the hard water season which has officially arrived.
 Ruby Eye Wiggler doesn't only catch pike!
This system is also especially effective on Lake Winnipeg. Walleye on the lake tend to be in shallow water early and late in the day, moving to deeper water during the middle daylight hours. Friend Jim Price has been using a light pike spoon for years on Lake Winnipeg with excellent results. You must remember that most of the time on the big lake in the south basin, you are fishing two to five metres of water. A heavy flutter spoon would sink to the bottom too fast, not allowing the fish as much time to track it down. Shape of the flutter spoon can also be a factor as can colour. Silver is always great on Lake Winnipeg and on clear water lakes with high protein forage like ciscoes and tullibees. More and more lure manufactures though are using glow and UV finishes. This can really shine in thick ice conditions or low light conditions early and late in the day.
Put some light flutter spoons in your tackle pack this year and you won’t be disappointed! By the way, they work for all species of fish including lake trout, rainbow, walleye and pike.



 "Bro" and Gussy tell it like it is at the St. Paul Show!
Ice fishing has experienced the biggest growth of any part of the sport fishing industry over the last ten years. I had an opportunity last week to experience just how much as I headed down to the St Paul Ice Fishing Show. That’s right, a fully dedicated show with hundreds of booths just for the ice angler. Given that here in Manitoba, we have some of the best ice fishing on the planet, we might do a little bit more to promote and service this incredible opportunity. I recently had an opportunity to talk to Jason Hamilton, who is a full time ice fishing guide on Lake Winnipeg.  A member of the CLAM Pro Staff team, this American company has been sending clients his way for years. He is one of a growing group of ambitious anglers that are exploring the opportunities year round. During the summer Jason manages Scott Lake Lodge in northern Saskatchewan. You can find out more about Jason Hamilton on his website at www.jasonhamiltonoutdoors.com

 Jason Hamilton having some fun!
Hamilton was one of the guest speakers at the St. Paul show, a testament to his knowledge about Lake Winnipeg and the growth of the ice fishing industry in this part of the world.