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Looking for advice. Ice fishing with family


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Hey Everyone,


Have a plan for the first weekend in March to take my mom, grandfather and girlfriend ice fishing. I can't decide between Quinte and Nippissing. Here is the plan, let me know what you think makes the most sense.


Leave Mississauga Saturday afternoon (me and girlfriend plus grandfather would stay at my mom and dad's place) drive to 'insert location'. Get a hotel room.


Wake up early Sunday morning. Get pre-booked hut from (looking for suggestions for this as well. Have not booked yet). Fish until the sun goes down.


Drive back to Toronto. Drop off girlfrend. Drive back to mississauga. Drop off mom and grandfather.


So, is Nippissing too far for this? The first day I'm not concerned but on the Sunday I'm trying to do the math and I keep thinking I'll be getting home around midnight. Also, I have allllllways had success on jumbo perch and Walleye on Nippissing, on Quinte do the opporators do well?


All tips and advice greatly appreciated.

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Walleye closes at Quinte the 1st of March.Perch still open.



Thanks. I didn't even think about that.



Ok so Nippissing it is. Who are good to go with that I can book with only a months notice?


I'd say Simcoe but in my experience its either Cooks with tons of dink perch with 1-2 eaters and a herring or Kemp where you might get 1-2 whitefish with the occasional Lake Trout but not much else (Unless you are Brian B and you limit out for the group by 9am). Looking for a mix of the two.

Edited by jeremy84
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Be aware that Nip has a slot that would make it difficult to be bringing any fish home. (Pickereye)



The slot is pretty substantial too. I believe its a low percent of fish even fall above the limit. I spent 3 days on Nippissing (calander bay) and caught 1 fish, lots of guys I went with caught zero. We were out with a ice hut company. I went with 16 people and I think in total out of 16 people we caught 8 fish over 3 days.


I also went when North Bay had the cold snap of -20 for 3 days.


Edit:Where I was, Calendar Bay, was about 3 hours exactly, and I live north of Mississauaga, so it would probably be around 3.5-4 hour drive. Thats a lot of driving for one day of fishing. There are a ton of lakes with operators a lot closer. Go to Simcoe for perch or trout with an operator.

Edited by Tjames09
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Go out for fish and chips go home and watch a movie....your girl friend will thank you for not subjecting her to 8 hours of shear boredom.... :clapping:


She says she wants to try it. I've had ex's in the past love the fishing on Simcoe pulling up the perch. Long as I let her bring her phone and something to watch movies on I think we'll be ok.


Be aware that Nip has a slot that would make it difficult to be bringing any fish home. (Pickereye)




No worries on the slot. Last half dozen times I have gone to Nip, the jumbo perch keep everyone happy. I prefer to keep them and the Ling anywhoo. Let the walleye live to fight another day.

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Don't book on Callender bay. We only fish there if ithe lake is wicked on the main basin. Still catch fish, but not the pounding you can dish out on the big lake. I can't suggest an operator unfortunately as I haven't ice fished it since my wife was in teachers college. We do freelance on the lake in the summer and it's a multi species smackdown pretty much all the time! I'm actually going up twice this summer, my kids love it! I would ook around for reviews on an operator a round South Bay or someone operating out on the main lake! As for distance, well it's a haul but I've driven 3 hours and slept in my truck to fish the Detroit on more than one occasion so it all depend on your motivation, and theirs!

Edited by porkpie
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yeah, stay away from Callander Bay unless for some reason you can't get to the main lake.


Better chance at big fish and lots of walleye on the south end.


More perch and day-long action on the north side.

You guys are the best. Thanks Chad and porkiepie. Edited by jeremy84
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Dennis Johnson runs a pretty tight operation: http://icebungalows.com/


You're going to hear tons of mixed reviews about Nipissing but that's the nature of fishing.


The truth is that Nipissing fish are biting more now than in the past 30 years. Forget the anecdotal stuff - Nipissing is hot right now. However keep in mind if you're targeting walleye, keepers are 18.1in+ and represent only 2% of the walleye population.


Reeds is great too, located right on top of perch. So your day won't be slow if the walleye aren't biting. Bit cheaper too.


Personally I'd do Reeds if you want perch, Dennis Johnson if you want more walleye. But both will be pretty close.


Oh, and bring your own pickerel rigs. It'll make a huge difference.




Regarding Callander Bay, my ice shack is there, I catch the evening bite 2-3x a week, only been skunked once in 3 years. Lots of fish there. Caught 8 + 1 keeper on saturday with 6 lines. That's 6 hrs of fishing.

Edited by Sterling
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Regarding Callander Bay, my ice shack is there, I catch the evening bite 2-3x a week, only been skunked once in 3 years. Lots of fish there. Caught 8 + 1 keeper on saturday with 6 lines. That's 6 hrs of fishing.

To be sure you'll catch fish on Callender, no question. All I'm suggesting is that there are probably better spots if he's looking for consistent action with a group of not so avid fisherfolk! And it looks like you've given him some good places to start!

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Thanks so much everyone.


Really, I know we could go to Simcoe and probably limit out on perch at Hales or Terry Goy's but to be honest, the drive is all part of it. We'll get snacks and coffees. Grandfather will tell us a ton of stories (probably 2 or 3 times each). He'll tell us about the cottage he used to have on the French. We'll settle in at a hotel and play Crib. He'll forget which cards he tossed into the crib and my mom will count 15 wrong about a dozen times.


The whole weekend is an experience to be honest. Making the most of these now because I never know which one might be the last time for any of us.

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Personally I'd hit Simcoe, Lake Of Bays, Rosseau, Gull, Boshkung, Mountain, 12 Mile.....heck even some panfish on Jack or another Kawartha Lake. You might have a hard time even booking anything this late, especially for a day. If you're flexible though, I am sure you'll find something.















plenty more...just keep calling around until you find an opening. Not saying the fishing will be spectacular at any of these places, but I think that goes without saying for most places. No surprise, but the best fishing I think will be on Simcoe or Nipissing though.


Ideally, I think you want to be able to walk to the huts? Not sure if most huts on Nip are "walkable". A lot on Simcoe are the same.


Good luck! My long weekender ice fishing trip is at Ogopogo on Mountain Lake in two weeks.

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Gonna buzz one more question into this.


We have decided to go with Reeds in 2 weeks. Super excited.


Out of the 8 lines we will have in the water I'm going to say probably 6 will be going for perch and walleye. With the other 2, is there any point in going for pike or burbot? I remember seeing Joey pull a few nice ones out of Nip before but I don't remember them being that prevalent. If I stick a big dead thing under the ice is it worth my time?


Same with burbot, I'd love to ice one of those but is it worth laying a ball of dead minnows on the bottom of the lake, or should I only try for those when the sun is setting?


Thanks again for all the help. Just hoping to put some fish on my grandfathers dinner plate (If he could, fish is all he would eat)

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