Ice Fishing

By Track & Tackle 11/26/2017 5 minutes

Given Canada’s long cold winters, partaking in outdoor recreation during the hard water season is a necessity for anglers looking for action year round. Some of the best fishing for certain species can be enjoyed when the ice is present on the water, deep water fish enter shallower waters and can be easily landed during a good day of fishing. Virtually all species can be caught during the winter months with popular species including perch, crappie, whitefish and pike. There are numerous ice fishing tournaments across the U.S. and Canada that target these particular species for prizes and bragging rights.

There is no shortage of great ice fishing lakes available with most provinces allowing two lines to be in the water for each angler. A great way to maximize your chances of landing the ideal catch is to have something different available on each line. Have a live minnow on one and the other use a jig with a live/wax worm.

Ice fishing through out the day can be productive, even at night. There are ice fishing operators that offer over night hut rentals, even ones with sleeping bunks within the hut. Fishing certain times of day will provide better results for certain species.. Walleye feed most intensely at dawn or dusk where as crappie, perch, pike and whitefish are more active during the middle of the day. The best lakes to ice fish are flat bottomed and shallow with few structures. A successful day of ice fishing can occur in water less than 20 feet in depth.

Some of the top lakes for ice fishing include the following:

Lake Simcoe, Ontario
Just north of Toronto, Ontario, Lake Simcoe is home to the Canadian Ice Fishing Championship and is arguably the most popular ice fishing location in North America. There are many tournaments offered during the season including those out of Barrie, Orillia and Georgina. It is one of Ontario’s larger inland lakes with plenty of spots to drill a hole and thousands of huts available to rent. It has a high population of yellow perch and the whitefish are stocked each year.

Lake Diefenbaker, Saskatchewan
It is an hour south of Saskatoon, it is well known for its record breaking rainbow trout but is also known for its whitefish, pike, walleye, burbot, and  perch. The whitefish frequently grow beyond 10lbs and is the holder of a world record 48lb rainbow trout. If you are looking to catch something big than this is the spot.

Cold Lake, Alberta
Lying across two provinces Alberta and Saskatchewan, Cold Lake stands as one of the best ice fishing lakes in two different provinces. It is one of the deeper ice fishing lakes that offers the chance to catch northern pike, walleye, yellow perch, burbot and whitefish. Use caution when fishing the lake, due to its size it may not completely freeze over until later in the season.

Track & Tackle