The Freshwater Phil guide to Montreal shore fishing spots

Montreal's best shore fishing spots

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Last ice fishing outing of the winter

Fished my first open local water outing of the season last week, was attempting to miraculously try to catch some carp in this weather. No such luck, I was slated to go back and try again this week, despite subzero temperature and a cold windchill or -15. My friend cancelled, as he was getting over a cold, and I decided to switch venues to hit the ice one more time before the official end of winter tomorrow.

Got to my first spot only to find a good 30 inches of ice covering the shallow 4-5 foot water I was fishing in. Didn't make prospecting with a manual auger very enticing. I still managed to drill half a dozen holes, hitting mud on one of them. No bites for the first 1.5 hours, so I headed off to another area.

Got to my second spot shortly after noon. Drilled a few holes, was happier to find only 18-20 inches of ice there, made things a bit easier. Still no luck, besides for a small pumpkinseed sunfish I caught on a micro jig, my first of the season. Drilled a few more holes to prospect in, switching to a small Rapala Jigging rap, no success. Eventually switched to a small Williams Wabbler jigging spoon, still not too much going on. Getting desperate, I tipped the spoon with half a worm. That did the trick, the fishing started hitting immediately. I landed another sunfish, about 5-6 inches:


Not much of a game fish, but surprisingly very colorful despite being under ice. Next bite pulled a bit harder, I landed a small largemouth bass:


After landing another small bass, I landed a black crappie:


After another bass and crappie, a big school of sunfish moved in. Despite drilling and switching holes at the same depth  throughout the afternoon, that same hole was the only one producing any results, so I went back. After landing about 50 sunfish, I managed a fat bluegill:


The big surprise was that I didn't land any perch the entire day, despite perch typically being the most aggressive winter fish in the area.

Total tally for the afternoon was 3 bass, 2 crappie, 1 bluegill and 55 sunfish, not too bad compared to my last couple outing. I also left my flasher home for this one, as the max depth I fished in was about 7 feet.

Reflecting on my 2013 ice fishing season, It was another interesting one as expected. I found some new spots, and learned some new things about old spots that were less successful in the past. The biggest learning experience was my Humminbird ice flasher. After fishing with it a few times, I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, it really helps me see what going on with my lure, and how the fish respond to it. At those times, there is no way I would know what is going on under the ice without the flasher. On the flip side, I seem to do a lot better when I don't bring it along. May be do to the fact that I'm forced to figure out what works in those instances, instead of focusing on what's showing up on my flasher screen. I guess the testing will continue next season.

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