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solopaddler

Ice Fishing The Port Loring Area

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I havn't been posting much recently as I've been completely immersed in renovating my house to put it on the market asap.

I'm redoing the kitchen, the main upstairs bathroom, refinishing the hardwood floors, painting, putting a brand new bathroom in the basement... and that's just the tip of the iceberg LOL!

Speaking of which, Mike I need you again badly! (bassmastermike on the board).

 

In any case this was one of the very few times I really didn't want to take off for the weekend. Our kitchen is a ridiculous mess at the moment and with 2 small kids running around it makes things pretty difficult especially for my wife Joanne.

 

But when my dad and uncle begged me to join them for the weekend Joanne said, "just go and have fun, the work will get done in time!" (God I love that woman :) )

 

So off we went leaving early Friday morning. The Port Loring area was our destination and a lake we've been ice fishing for over 23 years.

Originally we had a family friend who owned a cottage on the lake. After a couple of years they sold and we managed to talk one of the lodges on the lake into taking us out fishing, opening one of their cottages and letting us use one of their huts.

About 12 years ago their business went way downhill and a new owner took over who refused to open for us in the winter.

We talked to another guy with a small camp on the lake, and he was more than willing to accomodate. So for the last 12 years Tommy has been opening up one of his old log cabins for us and letting us use his own ice huts which he puts waay out on the main lake on a wicked shoal, a truly great spot.

Pretty much no one else fishes this lake even locals, so we've mostly got it to ourselves. Fishing is usually great with mixed bag of walleye, lake trout and some whitefish, pike and herring.

So, enough history...

Here's a couple of pic's from the drive in....very scenic.

 

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Deer abound in this area. It's a known deeryard and animals from quite a distance away migrate here to winter over.

We always see tons of deer along the side of the road and in the bush and I managed to snap a pic of this little beauty as she cautiously crossed the road right in front of us..

 

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Couple shots of the cabins interior. This particular camp has been in the same family for 3 generations. Tommy's grandfather built every cabin by hand back in the 20's.

 

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A quick bite to eat and we were off for the afternoons fishing. We generally pile in the vehicle and drive several km's around to the other side of the lake where there's a public access point. Tom picks us up there with his sled and hauls us to the huts.

 

Here we are unloading (my new wheels BTW :) )

 

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Here we are looking down the bay watching Tom approach.

 

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And there's Tommy with our transportation.

 

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Approaching the huts from a distance...

 

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Considering the high pressure and bluebird skys my expectations weren't too high, but we did manage a few nice fish Friday afternoon.

My uncle caught this gorgeous walleye just a hair over 27"

 

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Here's a couple of close-up shots. Pretty wild looking creatures eh?

 

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I followed up with a very decent walleye that just HAMMERED my jigging spoon :) .

It was just under 23" and in the slot so after a quick pic, back she went..

 

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Shortly after that I caught this beauty little laker on the same spoon.

This one was dispatched quickly to provide the surf to go along with our turf Friday night :) .

 

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We all hooked and lost multiple fish on Friday afternoon. I had 3 half way up to the hole before they shook off, so all in all it wasn't a bad start.

 

Saturday was another bluebird day and the first half of the day was pretty uneventful with not a thing caught. We all missed fish, but nothing landed.

Around noon Tommy came by and says "let's you and me go explore the lake a bit Mike". I'm all for that idea, so I pulled the depth map out of my bag and after a quick study, one spot in particular seemed to stand out.

It was a large saddle between a visible shoal and the mainland. On one side there was a 140' basin, on the other a 100' basin.

Tom started drilling hole after hole for me in a grid pattern, marking the depth with my portable finder and writing the number in the snow beside each hole.

It soon became apparant that this was some pretty incredible structure!

Here's Tommy in the distance working hard for me, popping countless holes..

 

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I went from hole to hole with my jig spending no more than 5 minutes at each one... a winter time version of "run and gun" fishing :P .

Right off the bat I hit this little laker. Great start, I guess the fish are here!

 

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About 20 mins later I caught this beauty. She hit like a freight train and almost spooled the tiny reel I was using. What a blast! :D

 

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About 10 mins after that one I hit another nice laker

 

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Then another little guy

 

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I'm now in the market for a freezeproof camera as shortly after that last pic she refused to work anymore.

Was a shame too as I was REALLY on a good bite. Quite incredible really....I caught and released 8 more lakers including one dandy in the 8lb class.

 

We drilled holes all over in a variety of depths anywhere from 15-55'. The "magic" depth seemed to be 28-30' though. Almost every fish I caught was in that depth range.

Wish I had time to get back up one more time to fish this spot again, but it was a blue eyed miracle I was able to get away this past weekend. As far as Tommy knows, and he's been on the lake his whole life, this spot has never been ice fished before :) .

Something to look forward to next year I guess!

 

A fine time was had with my dad and uncle, and I feel fortunate to have been able to go.

Now it's back to reality for me lol!

 

Cheers, Mike

Edited by solopaddler

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Mike...wow...you've shown us once again how it's done! Great fish and pics...and happy you were able to get away from all that work for a well deserved break.

 

One thing...did they beg you on their own accord or did you put them up to it so you'd have some ammo to use with your wife???? :lol:

 

Great stuff!

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Just an awesome report, Mike. Glad you did so well. That weather looks like 3rd, 4th week in March. Thanks for posting.

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One thing...did they beg you on their own accord or did you put them up to it so you'd have some ammo to use with your wife???? :lol:

 

Great stuff!

 

You're a pretty intuitive fellow aren't you? :)

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Thanks Mike, I always look forward to your fishing tales and that one was as good as ever !!

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Wow Great report Mike looks like you had a great time out there Wished i could have been there too next time forsure. Fishing for tyler was a huge sucess but i was unable to land a fish but it was a great day out anyway!!

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Another awesome report Mike. You mentioned earlier you were considering a name change.... let me suggest 'fishmagnet'. Thanks for the pics and story.

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Question for you Mike.What is the ice thickness up there.A buddy of mine has a cottage on Dollars lake up there and we've gotten whities up there before.

Kerry

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Question for you Mike.What is the ice thickness up there.A buddy of mine has a cottage on Dollars lake up there and we've gotten whities up there before.

Kerry

 

Kerry, there's roughly 14" of clear black ice. Since the big melt the week before there's zero slush and almost no snow, so conditions are perfect for travel.

 

Everyone else, thanks a bunch for the kind words :) .

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Good Stuff Solo, love your reports. :thumbsup_anim:

I know the area east of there well. Our hunt camp isn't far away. I know a couple fellas that used to fish in that lake and others around it but they have gotten up in their years and don't head out anymore. They would go out to our camp and stay for the weekend and enjoy it as you did. There are a few good productive lakes in the area with a wide variety of species. Some of the smaller lakes in the area have limited access of trails to them though.

Tom is a good fellow, haven't seen him for a few years. His sister and my wife are good friends. Spent a few days out there years ago in the summer. Nice spot.

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Good Stuff Solo, love your reports. :thumbsup_anim:

I know the area east of there well. Our hunt camp isn't far away. I know a couple fellas that used to fish in that lake and others around it but they have gotten up in their years and don't head out anymore. They would go out to our camp and stay for the weekend and enjoy it as you did. There are a few good productive lakes in the area with a wide variety of species. Some of the smaller lakes in the area have limited access of trails to them though.

Tom is a good fellow, haven't seen him for a few years. His sister and my wife are good friends. Spent a few days out there years ago in the summer. Nice spot.

 

Hey Bernie that's pretty cool, small world! :)

Tom and Diane are great people for sure.

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