It has been more than two weeks since I last got out on the ice to fish.
With all the wind, snow and cold temperatures we've had lately, I can't say I have been totally motivated.
My last trip was to East Shoal Lake in the Interlake. About three years ago anglers discovered large perch there and the word has slowly filtered out. Angling pressure has increased tremendously and one can only wonder how long those trophy perch will last.
Speaking of trophy fisheries, one of the most unique in this part of the world exists up near the Duck Mountains. The Twin Lakes area was stocked with tiger trout a few years back. Now, that's a fish with attitude!
They're a cross between brook and brown trout and are difficult to raise in a hatchery. Stocked a few years ago, tiger trout have found Twin Lakes to their liking. A huge population of scuds has allowed them to grow to impressive size.
I received an email last week from Brant Broone, a forestry technician who lives in The Pas. He fished the lakes at the beginning of the month.
"Inspired by one of your online articles, I decided to give Twin Lakes a try to catch those exotic tiger trout. I convinced my brother Derek to come along with me and we were sure glad we did. We fished in about five to 10 feet of water using a variety of hooks. We started off in a weedy bay just south of the parking lot but soon discovered it was hard to jig without pulling up a handful of weeds. So we moved further north towards the open water. About 20 feet from the shoreline, I tried for a while with my buck shot spoon and got one bite. Then we tried a variety of power tub jigs that I read about on your page and landed most of our fish using those. The pink micro tube jig seemed to do the trick on this day. We landed three nice tigers with the biggest pushing 22 inches. It was a bright red male just like I saw in the pictures and packed on a lot of weight.
I was very impressed, so we snapped a few photos and got it back in the water quickly. For every fish we landed we lost two. I was amazed by the power of these trout. I would often get them up to the hole and they would dive back down and escape. I had one that came up to the hole three times before finally getting off. It seemed from 2 to 3 p.m., they were biting steady. After 3 p.m we never had a single bite all the way until darkness. It was a great memorable day of fishing and I can't wait to get back out on the ice there and see what else comes out of those waters."
Anglers notes: Lake Winnipeg has been very good for walleye, but only if you have access to a snowmobile or tracked vehicle to get out to the fishing areas. The best success has been on the west side of the lake near Matlock. Anglers have been catching some really nice fish at first light tucked close to shore in a metre of water. It seems the walleye have been herding schools of shiner in tight at first light. Later in the day the bite has been good in about three metres with lipless crankbaits being the bait of choice. The season closes in southern Manitoba at the end of this month and it should be interesting to see when the ice goes out on the big lake this year.