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Nipissing recap 2013


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Well, another ice-season on Nipissing has come to an end. The ice was good (around 24" in March), the walleye fishing was solid and the pressure cracks were everpresent. I was twice visited by authorities, which is twice more than my entire Nipissing history....I'm glad to see they are enforcing the new rules, even though I don't 100% agree with them.

 

 

Overall, the walleye numbers were up for me and the size was up as well. We were often able to throw back <13" fish and wait for two 15" keepers for eating (15.7" bottom of slot) and I caught my PB walleye at 8.5lbs. My perch numbers were significantly lower, as was the amount of ling. I got several cisoe and one beauty of a whitefish!

 

The best baits were Northland Buckshots and 3-4" silver jigging spoons. If the fish were picky I'd use a very very small buckshot and tip it with a minnow head...deadly! Good ol' big shinners worked on tipups and my experiments with 4-6" suckers produced some big fish!

 

The one thing that will really stand out for me is the first day I drove my truck onto the ice several miles into the open. I was honing in on a drop-off and had my truck in reverse when I drove into an open pressure crack, maybe 12-20" wide. One of my rear tires was almost completely in the water, over 30FOW. I bailed quickly out of the truck and stood back waiting for my truck to drop...it didn't move...luckily. No cracking or creaking, so after I settled down I hopped back after in and in 4x4 I managed to grip out of the crack.

The lesson I learned, quite simply, was to never drive in reverse on a lake...had I been looking forward there is no way I would have missed the crack.

 

Here are a few big fish from my season on Nipissing.

 

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2013-03-091836342_zps2a22a8da.jpg

 

 

IMG-20130106-00095_zps62624027.jpg

Edited by Rod Caster
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Hi Rodcaster... Good to hear.. thanks for the report..! :canadian:

 

 

Re: pressure cracks.... I surveyed a large lake one time... taking ice thickness every 50 feet for lines up to 4 miles in length. We had one big pressure crack running through the entire grid. Overall the ice was consistently near 4 feet thick, but within a few feet of the pressure crack the thickness increased to near 6 feet either side of the crack, even though there often was open water inside the crack itself up to 2 feet across.

 

Also the lake bottom was pancake flat... only varying by a few inches over several miles.. However directly under the pressure crack there was a near 3' ridge on the lake bottom at about 20 feet of depth.

 

I found that pretty interesting...

 

 

:Gonefishing:

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Re: pressure cracks.... I surveyed a large lake one time... taking ice thickness every 50 feet for lines up to 4 miles in length. We had one big pressure crack running through the entire grid. Overall the ice was consistently near 4 feet thick, but within a few feet of the pressure crack the thickness increased to near 6 feet either side of the crack, even though there often was open water inside the crack itself up to 2 feet across.

 

Also the lake bottom was pancake flat... only varying by a few inches over several miles.. However directly under the pressure crack there was a near 3' ridge on the lake bottom at about 20 feet of depth.

 

I found that pretty interesting...

 

 

:Gonefishing:

4 feet of ice, you must have been way up north :)

 

Interesting about the ridge below the crack The one I drove into has never been there in my experience, but it's right beside a large dropoff. The large cracks/walls on Nipissing seem to be mostly at the same location each year... at least at the east end.

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Sounds like a great year up there for you Rodcaster, you're lucky to live where you do, I'm jealous

 

 

Hi Rodcaster... Good to hear.. thanks for the report..! :canadian:

 

 

Re: pressure cracks.... I surveyed a large lake one time... taking ice thickness every 50 feet for lines up to 4 miles in length. We had one big pressure crack running through the entire grid. Overall the ice was consistently near 4 feet thick, but within a few feet of the pressure crack the thickness increased to near 6 feet either side of the crack, even though there often was open water inside the crack itself up to 2 feet across.

 

Also the lake bottom was pancake flat... only varying by a few inches over several miles.. However directly under the pressure crack there was a near 3' ridge on the lake bottom at about 20 feet of depth.

 

I found that pretty interesting...

 

 

:Gonefishing:

 

I found that very interesting too Capt. Hook, why do suppose the thicker ice and crack occured along the ridge? artesian water along the crack?

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Shhhhhhh. There are no more walleye left in Nipissing. Great year for me in Callander Bay as well. I'll post my pics in this thread later if you are o.k. with that Chad.

absolutely! ..and if anyone else wants to post as well..

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Great report Chad and glad you kept the tires on top of the ice.

 

Here's a story for you from last weekend. I was out perching with Rubin on Simcoe and as we were unloading a couple of guys were having troubles with their sled. Rather than a complete break down out on the lake they decided to load it up and and walk out. As we were about to head out they asked if I would mind dragging the hut out for them. Told them I'd come back and get them and the hut. Drop off Rubin and the gear and run back in for them, one guy on the sled and the other on the sleigh, helmets on and away we go. There was a pressure crack to cross but the crossing was good and several other ATVs and sleds had used it.

 

As we got closer to the crack there was an atv with their hut in front of us. There was a bit of a road that people had been following out but as you got close to the crack the "road" went to the right but the crossing was to the left. I watched in complete disbelief as the driver took the ATV to the right and watched as the driver and passenger bailed off the machine as it broke through the ice. I kept us going to the other side and we stopped to make sure they were OK, which they were. The hut was still attached and sitting on top of the ice but the ATV was in the water with an inch to spare from the top of the water to the exhaust. And the machine was still running.

 

He got a couple of his buddies over with their atv's and winches and after some trying this and that we managed to get 3 of us lifting the front of the machine up while in 4x4 and pulling with the other two machines. The tires bit into the edge of the ice and the machine popped out. Lucky for them there was another layer of ice under the front tires but nothing under the rear tires. The hut probably saved it from slipping backwards and disappearing completely.

 

Glad to have helped out and really happy it worked out for everyone. Could have been avoided though if he just lifted up his foggy visor to see where to cross. He missed it by 10 feet.

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I found that very interesting too Capt. Hook, why do suppose the thicker ice and crack occured along the ridge? artesian water along the crack?

 

No idea ... why the ice thickened on each side of the crack... some interesting physics going on there?

 

Location was some 6 hours north of Winnipeg on a large lake.

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loks like you had a great hard water season - so, is it just me, or do you get that truck stuck no matter what the weather?

Ha! :D Maybe there is a pattern developing ... I wonder where I'll get stuck this spring haha.

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