Drill a hole, drop a line, sit back and pass some time.
One of the only good things about these terrible, cold winter months is that ice fishing is at its prime.
In most situations colder weather puts a hold on outdoor sports and activities, but not ice fishing. In fact, the colder the weather the better the conditions become.
Ice fishing is the practice of ice anglers catching fish, most prominently using lines and fish hooks, through an opening in the frozen ice on a body of water. Ice anglers, like myself, use an ice auger to drill holes into the lake. This year I was thankful to have a gas-powered auger to drill through the 20 inches or more of ice.
This winter has been one of the most miserable winters on record, according to a “misery index” released by the U.S. National Weather Service.
Ontario cities have seen some of the coldest temperatures in decades. In Toronto, this winter is recorded as the coldest in 20 years and in Windsor, 35 years.
This extreme cold weather has the Great Lakes under the largest cover of ice in 20 years. Lake Erie is one of the most southern lakes and is the most shallow of the Great Lakes. The entire lake is almost completely covered in ice with 97 per cent coverage.
The Ottawa River, such as Shirley’s Bay, has been covered completely by ice, too. Ottawa ice anglers have caught some attention this year by catching massive trophy fish such as muskies and walleyes.
Typically when I go ice fishing, I will drive my ATV on the ice to the hut – moving from spot to spot trying to find the fish. You can cover a lot more area on the lake riding an ATV or snowmobile, if the conditions permit it.
The Ottawa River has the advantage of allowing more people to walk to their fishing destination. This is great for students seeing as not many of us have an ATV or sled in the city.
Ice fishing is a way to relieve some stress, hang out with some friends and pass the time during these long, cold winter months. I recommend ice fishing to anyone who is seeking an outdoor adventure full of fun, excitement and if you’re lucky, a free meal.