Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Couple of tricks to make ice fishing nicer

But check road conditions first

  • Print

Heavy snowfall over the last week has changed access for anglers hoping to go ice fishing on the lakes and rivers of southern Manitoba. In last week's column, I talked about the great access to Lake Manitoba for vehicles, even those with two-wheel drive.

That has all changed with the snow and north wind. Most anglers are using snowmobiles now to get out to the great perch fishing that is available. Four-wheel-drive access is also possible to some degree.

Some of the best walleye fishing in the province has been taking place up on Lake Dauphin. Don Stoknotelny says there has been excellent angling success at the mouths of the Ochre and Valley rivers. Don offers ice-shack rentals on the lake and you can find him through Sticky's Tackle in Dauphin or drop him an email at Sticky's also has live bait available -- not a bad option when the bite slows a bit.

One of the best ways to trigger inactive fish is to tail-hook a big, live chub. I have personally seen Stoknotelny use this technique with excellent results on Lake Dauphin. I can also remember another successful technique from a trip there 20 years ago to film a episode of The Complete Angler. Bill Griffin caught a couple of larger walleye during the filming using a Rattln' Rap. It wasn't until three years ago while fishing with friend Murray Olfason up at Hecla that I saw once again how deadly this presentation can be through the ice. Murray used the lure almost exclusively that late-March day to catch a number of Lake Winnipeg walleye, including the largest of the day, a massive fish that must have been close to 13 pounds.

The Rattlin' Rap and other lipless crankbaits, like the Salmo Chubby Darter, also work on other species, including some awfully big lake trout. While Murray was using the Rattlin' Rap, I had to improvise because none were to be found at the time in my tackle. Quickly tying on a Chubby Darter, I caught many fish on that presentation, a technique that triggers big, aggressive fish to bite. Sometimes the aggressive flash of a lipless crankbait or jigging spoon will attract fish from a distance.

Though they might not bite this offering, a salted shiner on a small jig on your dead stick might be just the ticket. That's why, when ice fishing, it usually pays to work one rod and let your second line sit. If you can set up your electronics in a portable tent to see both lines, then you can even trigger more bites. That's because if you see a fish come in on your still line, you might be able to trigger a bite by taking it out of the rod holder and give it a twitch.

Speaking of Lake Winnipeg, the water is becoming clear in the main basin. Anglers are starting to pour out all over the lake in anticipation of another great ice-fishing season on the hottest walleye ice-fishing lake in North America.

For those looking to venture out on Lake Winnipeg, I would suggest you try to keep up to date on road conditions at Warner and other access points by surfing the local fishing boards. This is usually a day-to-day problem based on weather and wind, so anglers sharing this type of information becomes vital.


CAJUN PERCH: After cleaning a load of perch last week with my electric knife (yes, it is faster than a regular filleting knife), I cooked up my favourite fish dish.

I coated the perch fillets completely with Club House Cajun fish batter, along with some extra Cajun spice and chili powder. While the sunflower oil was heating on the fry pan with medium-high heat, I let the fillets sit so the batter would set. Dropping in five fillets at a time, I made sure they were golden brown before turning. My family likes them slightly crispy, so I made sure I gave them just a little extra time. Talk about delicious; my mouth waters as I write this.


Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 2, 2010 D4

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Lawless in the Morning: It's playoff game day

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A group of Horese pose for the camera in the early evening light at Southcreek Stables in Stl Norbert Wednessday. Sept  14, 2011 (RUTH BONNEVILLE) / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press. Local- WINTER FILE. Snowboarder at Stony Mountain Ski Hill. November 14, 2006.

View More Gallery Photos


What do you think the punishment should be for Dustin Byfuglien's cross-check on New York Rangers forward J. T. Miller?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google