Sunday, May 4, 2008

Ice-out trout fishing - a ritual of Spring in Northwestern Ontario

Get out and Spin Cast for Lakers

As the ice slowly melts away (and boy is it taking its time this year), the ritual known as ice-out trout fishing is set to commence. Arguably one of the seasons most enjoyable fishing pursuits, fishing for lake trout just after the ice goes out is a real treat. Normally, these fish are down deep below the first and often second thermocline any where from 50-100 feet below the surface. While you can still catch them fairly easily at these depths (with the right equipment and a little know-how), it is just not the same as spin casting for them in 10 feet of water.

The charm of this time of year is there is NO thermocline on the lake right after ice out - the temperature of the water is uniform throughout the water column and the lake trout can roam at any depth they choose. At this time of year you don't even need a boat to catch lakers, just cast your line from shore and you may have a 10-pounder bite your hook. While what lure to use is often a personal choice, we recommend you have lots of "flash" in your presentation - silver and gold are probably the best choices but bright yellow or black and silver combos also seem to work well. You may also want to rig up a spinner "train" and put a frozen cisco on the end of the line - the lake trout just can't seem to resist it!

Whatever rig you decide to use, the idea is to just get out on the lake for the first time after a long winter, enjoy the warmth of the sun and catch a big fish. These ice-out lakers have beautiful firm meat and they taste excellent when you have them for shore lunch. There are many great trout lakes in Ontario's Sunset Country so finding a place to go fishing will not be a problem. Many camp owners still have good cabin availability in the latter part of May so it is not too late to book your ice-out trip for 2008. If you want to access some great trout lakes then we recommend you check out this list of tourist outfitters who can set you up quickly so you can catch these critters.

Ice-out trout fishing is just one of the many reasons anglers from across North America and even Europe visit Sunset Country. We really are Canada's premier fishing destination when you consider the number of lakes we have (70,000+), the multiple species of fish you can catch here - trout, walleye, bass, muskie, pike, crappie, whitefish, sturgeon - and the natural beauty of the area. We are relatively close to home for all you fishermen from the U.S. Midwest so if yyou've got the time this spring we've got the fish - c'mon up!


baraz said...

Excellent report!! I've always wanted to try for ice out lakers on the fly!

Unknown said...

Thanks Baraz, the trout fishing really is something else out here. Not only are there the great lakers but you can catch brook trout up to 8 pounds on our most remote, arctic watershed rivers. You should give it a try sometime.