The Freshwater Phil guide to Montreal shore fishing spots

Montreal's best shore fishing spots

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Ice fishing carp in Ontario

Decent weather finally arrived, it was off to South Eastern Ontario to attempt ice fishing that province for the first time. As I fish the Raisin river quite often from spring to fall, I'm quite familiar with the river's depths, structure and species that inhabit different areas of it year round.

As we're only allowed 2 lines per person, the 3 of us packed our gear in backpack to avoid having to drag sleds hundreds of yards. My auger is an 8" manual Swede Bore model by Normark, I figured we'd have a chance to really break it in.

We stated off targeting carp in a flat mud bottom area where they kind of get trapped in the winter. I was amazed at the speed that we managed to drill through solid 16" - 18" inch ice, probably about 60 seconds or so per hole, but it was hard work. As we had 6 rods set up, we fished, minnows, meal worms, corn, fries and turkish delight, a sweet jelly like substance made of corn startch and sugar. Result after 2.5 hours: Not one hit.

We moved to another area where perch and largemouth bass hang around year round. We fished jigs, jigging raps and live minnows in depths varying between 4-9 feet, the shallower lines were in weed cover. Again, not 1 hit after about 2 hours.

We moved to our third and final spot, a 16-18 foot hole that usually holds jumbo perch and walleye. Again, we fished minnows, jigs and jigging raps, managed a slight tap on a minnow in about 1 hour's worth of fishing.

That was it for the day, we had to be back in town before 6:00 PM, so we left. Though we didn't catch anything and didn't even manage a real hit, I enjoyed the trip as I was going stir crazy with the bad weather we've been getting lately. To top it off, I had wild ideas of hauling big "hog" carps in one after the other (OK I was dreaming), but I've finally got the Raisin River ice fishing thing out of my system, as I've tried it and I'm in no hurry to return there until the ice melts.

I also wanted to see how many holes we could drill by hand with my big auger before being completely fed up. I ended up drilling 8 or 9 holes over the course of about 5.5 hours, so did my buddy. My 13 year old son ended up drilling only 2, as the river was solid ice, he's not heavy enough to hold the auger without spinning around the hole when cranking.

Should post some drilling fottage to Youtube over the next few days.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Phil, It looks like you Canadians should spend a few Dollars and come south to Sunny South Africa . Besides a sun tan you will be guaranteed of catching big fish summer and winter. We have never had any lake freeze over in any part of our country and whats more, the cooler it gets , the bigger the fish......(always said there was nothing in that Raisen river.......Glenn

Freshwater Phil said...

I do hope to make it down there one day, maybe try fishing for some big sharks off the Cape.

On my present budget, all I can afford is some pitiful attempts at catching fish under ice. The Raisin River does have some very good fishing, mainly during spring after the local spawning runs.