My 3 boys being off school for mid winter break, they happily agreed to go up North to chase some bass and trout through the ice at our summer vacation spot. We had a short 3 day - 2 night trip planned, plan was to fish bass for 2 days and trout for 1 day. The outfitter we've been going to for years (Mijocama) just started offering ice fishing for bass, and installed his first few ice shanties a couple weeks ago.
We arrived at about noon on Monday, the owner (Jocelyn) was kind enough to bump us up to his 5 star cabin at no extra cost, as we were the only ones on the lake. Fishing was slow the first afternoon, and managing 3 kids fighting in the cold snow didn't give me as much time to track and catch finicky largemouth bass through the ice.
With the early winter sunset, we were asleep by 8:00 PM. After a good night's sleep, we were up by 5:00 AM, ready to fish at the crack of dawn. I decided to shoot some pics of the breathtaking winter sunrise.
Here is the view from our chalet:
And the sunrise:
Here is a view of the main camp at sunrise, as seen from the lake:
Fishing was slow again, and I spent a nice bit of time drilling all over the place, but I barely marked 3 fish on the portable sonar I had brought along.
Around noon, the owner came by with his snowmobile, ready to shuttle us up to his trout lake.
The lake gets stocked with 8-10 inch speckled and rainbow trout every year. As the lake has tons of natural food, the trout are harder to catch than you would expect on a stocked lake, but the trade off is that they have time to grow real big. 5 - 6 lb rainbows, and 3-4 lbs brookies are caught every season.
We got up to the trout lake, drilled our holes throught the ice, and got set up with worms, as well as some jigging lines. Avi caught his first fish within minutes, but we had to wait a couple hours until we managed to land the next ones.
Here is the "trophy of the day", landed on a small Rapala jigging rap:
After a nice ride back that evening, I filleted the delicious trout for supper that evening. We called it another early night after a long day fishing, still no bass...
New morning, I noticed that my rented minivan had a screw in the tire and was close to flat. Being out in the "middle of no-where" with a flat is no fun, but Jocelyn (the owner) is is pretty self sufficient. He had some patches, so after jacking up the car, we had the flat fixed within minutes.
After packing up all our clothes and cleaning the chalet, we were more than ready for some fishing. The snow had started to fall, and the temperature was just above freezing. Perfect weather, no more frozen ice holes or freezing lines.
I started feeling little taps shortly after dropping my jigging line in about 25 feet of water. I figure they were small perch or sunfish, turned out that I was right.
Around noon, I finally caught my first largemouth bass through of the trip:
Not a big fish, maybe 12 inches, but it had me super pumped. I sent my line back down and Bang! Another fish on, this one a bit bigger:
Jocelyn came by to fish with us and landed another one close to 4 lbs about an hour later.
Unfortunately, I still had to make lunch, load the car and drive 300+ kilometers back home, so we had to stop fishing by 2:30 PM.
Mijocama now has a few cabins on his main bass lake (Giles Lake). They come equipped with wood ovens and holes in the floor, so one can fish from the comfort of a heated cabin during nasty weather. They offer full service, hole drilling, rod & equipment rentals and snowmobile shuttle service to their various lakes, including the trout lake we fished at.
I highly recommend Mijocama outfitter as a prime destination for trophy bass fishing and family fishing trips. For more information on Mijocama outfitter, or to contact them, click http://freshwaterphil.com/mijocama-outfitter.cfm