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Monday, January 24, 2005


Sharp cold snap brings outstanding conditions for ice fishing

Jan 20, 2005

With a sharp cold snap and temperatures expected to remain below freezing all week, the long-awaited ice fishing season is in full swing.

Caution is still advised on the main body of the lake and near pressure cracks, so anglers should call fish hut operators before heading out because conditions can change quickly.

Action got under way earlier this month on Cook's Bay with Dave Tighe of Davey Point Bait and Tackle in Keswick reporting at least 12 inches of solid ice.

"The fishing is spectacular, the best I've ever seen," Mr. Tighe said.

Anglers are limiting out on perch in four hours or less, he said, adding pike are also biting and there have been catches of lake trout and whitefish as well.

The latter two deep water species are generally not caught too often in the bay.

"That's been a real bonus," he said.

Mr. Tighe has 20 huts straight out from his Lake Drive location on ice in 18 to 26 feet of water.

Jerry Kucharchuk of Pefferlaw Fish Huts at the Peninsula Resort (705-437-1890) said he is fully booked for this weekend, mainly with American hard water enthusiasts. The resort appeals to the Americans because "it's a one stop centre. We offer everything for them here: fishing licences, accommodation, food, lots of room to park their trucks and trailers. They find it very convenient," Mr. Kucharchuk said.

The operation's 20 huts are two miles out from the mouth of Pefferlaw Brook on about a foot of ice over about 25 feet of water. The main catches are perch and whitefish and the fishing has been excellent, he said.

Greg Haines of Bonnie Boats in Jackson's Point (905-722-3862) began hauling his 16 huts out Tuesday. They're about a mile out over 65 feet of water. Ice conditions are excellent, with at least nine inches that growing fast with the frigid weather, Mr. Haines said. The main catches are lake trout and whitefish.

"It's a big change from last week when it wasn't looking too great," he said.

Since the cold snap the phones have been ringing for weekend bookings. "We're off to a good start," he said.

The thickening ice is good news for the annual Lake Simcoe Ice Fishing Contest set for Saturday, Jan. 29. About 4,000 anglers are expected for that event, the biggest in Canada. For tickets, call 1-800-506-9911. The grand prize is a 2005 full-sized Chev pickup truck.

Preparations are also being finalized for the 11th annual Canadian Ice Fishing Championship Feb. 26 and 27. There are $25,000 in cash prizes up for grabs. To register, call Rocky Madsen at 905-722-5425.


Blogger Arlo said...

HARD WATER FINALLY HERE was what caught my attention. I was just out browsing around today looking for information on ice fishing, and happened accross your blog. Although it's not completely related to ice fishing, it certainly made me stop and ponder. Thanks for the great read Simcoe Bo ing News...I'll be back.

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