Ever been caught out on the ice in a storm? Luckily for me
it hasn’t happened that often. In thinking back though, some of my biggest fish
through the ice have come when snowflakes are swirling around me.
summer, we always take into consideration cold and warm fronts and changes in
temperature. In the winter, not so much. Upon review, this is a mistake,
because fish are still effected tremendously by changes in weather patterns.
Snowstorms in our part of the world also usually mean warmer temperatures to
accompany the front. Once the storm is over in 24 hours we mostly have blue
bird skies and much colder temperatures. If one can fish during the storm and
before the skies clear out, ice fishing action can be tremendous. Fish activity
level is definitely higher during storms and warmer temperature fronts. Also if
the weather remains stable for long periods of time, the fish settle down in
distinct feeding patterns. For example, walleye might be more active early and
late in the day if we have a lot of sun accompanied with the stability. If it
is overcast and warmer, the action can be good all day long.
I can remember fishing for lake
northwest Ontario during a mini blizzard when I landed my largest lake
trout ever. This fish was suspended in 10 metres of water over 30 metres. I
barely saw the flash on my Humminbird fish finder as this trout raced in to
just smash my jig. Activity level that day was extremely high and the fish were
just cruising looking for food. My best perch day ever came a couple of years
ago when the lake was shrouded in fog from melting snow and ice. Air
temperatures were increasing and the fish were on mission to eat as much as
they could. Time of the year can also be a factor, with walleye in natural
lakes becoming more inactive during long cold February days, then picking up
again from the middle of March onward.
I find this to be a similar cast for
lake trout as activity level in early January is high, then slows during
February. Lake Winnipeg though, seems to have its own set of rules, though
frontal systems definitely have an effect.
I caught my biggest walleye ever
through the ice last year when we had unseasonably warm weather in January. A
friend and I were fishing on the south
end of the lake in plus two Celsius. The forecast though called for a huge cold
front to roll in over the next two days. Both of us knew it was a great time to
be out and the fishing didn’t disappoint. Both of us caught our personal best
walleye through the ice along with some other really nice walleye. We had been
out at first light and packed up to go home at noon before the weather changed
Labels: Stable weather ice fishing