Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Ice Fishing…Nice Start to Season 2014

I was able to get my feet on a little hard water this past weekend and do some exploring.  A friend of mine Tim Cyr invited me (OK maybe I invited myself) to fish a body of water that was new to me.  Always intrigued by the unknown I readily accepted and plans were made for some fishing action.  As my feet left the sure footing of land and started onto the solid sheet of ice, the first rays of sunshine began to break over the ridge to my right and a smile crept into the corner of my mouth as the anticipation built.  The sound of our plastic tote sleds sliding along the ice sounded deafening in the early morning quiet and somewhere down the lake, augers broke the silence with their unmistakable drone.  Picturing what the bottom structure of the lake looked like beneath it's icy surface, we picked our "perfect spots" and each grabbed our augers to drill down into the depths.

A couple hits of the primer bulb and on the second pull the Jiffy roared to life and the Stealth blades made quick work of the 13" of ice and I was soon rewarded with a geyser of water from the auger bit.  I had only set two traps when the first bright orange flag leapt skyward signaling line being pulled from the reel.  A quick battle revealed a beautiful 14" brook trout still brightly colored from the fall spawn.  Since it was so early into the fishing trip I left him in the water and gently removed the hook from his lip before watching him slip back to the cobble bottom and dart away.  Tim was soon rewarded with his first brookie of the day and from there the action was steady for the first couple of hours.  A beautiful female salmon around 23 inches gave Tim a run for his money when she tangled around a stick and he had to pull the stick and all through the hole before landing the fish which after a quick admiration was released to spawn another day.  The same tip-up an hour later produced a male salmon that pushed the 25" mark with a large hooked jaw and beautiful coloration.  This fish was also released after a quick measure.  After releasing this fish, I decided if I was fortunate enough to catch a similar fish I might keep it for a mount as it would be my personal best salmon.

I was not disappointed when a short time later my flag went up and I landed a beautiful 12" brook trout.  I decided this one would become table fare and reset my trap.  As I headed back to where I was jigging I decided to check the bait on a trap on the way by.  The bait was a little lower than I preferred so I reeled in a couple more turns on the spool and set the trap back down.  I had no sooner set the trap down than the flag bounced up and the reel started screaming out line.  As soon as I gave a tug on the line I knew I had a good fish on and when I finally got him to the hole, my thoughts were confirmed as his massive outline went by the hole.  After an extended tug-of-war I finally got his massive head started up through the hole and Tim was ready to grab him behind the gill plate to finish pulling him out.  The head of the fish grabbed my attention as we flopped him onto the ice.  The deformation that male salmon go through during the spawn is amazing and this one had thoroughly deformed his head structure.  A massive hook protruded from his lower jaw and his upper jaw was rounded to fit perfectly.  This was an awesome catch and I want to thank Tim for taking me to his "secret spot" on ******** Lake (Also thanks to Mado for rearranging your plans to accommodate me!) so that I could catch my best ever salmon.

I also have some video footage of that day coming up so stay tuned!


  1. Had to do a double-take - didn't look like a salmon at first! Congrats man!

  2. Thanks! He sure has a different look to him, but man he is awesome! I can't believe the hook, by far the best I have seen on a landlocked.

  3. I've never seen a salmon like him. That's awesome!

  4. Thanks! I couldn't believe it when his head came up through the hole! I was quite excited!

  5. My father and I have been fishing the Saint John river in the derby for 3 years now. We have hooked 2 musky and have lost both of them. We only fish for musky during the derby, we always fish all three days for 12-13 hours except on the final day. We fish about 8 hours. The saint Francis section of the river is where we always fish. We would like to catch more muskie in the river and I was wondering if you could give me some advice on musky fishing, thanks bye.

  6. Madhunterfisher,
    I am glad you have been out in pursuit of the toothy muskie! They are a formidable foe! It sounds like you have the dedication as that is a lot of hours of hard work. I can give you my opinion on the subject, which is only one of many and may even contradict that of some other fishermen. If you just want to catch fish, I would encourage you to try smaller than traditional muskie lures. Without giving too much information, don't be afraid to try a lure in the 4.5 to 5 inch range. One of my favorites is in that range. Also, for leaders, I prefer black. I have had strikes on brighter leaders that I was convinced the fish were hitting the leader. Other than that, it sounds like you are closer than ever to catching one! Another thing to keep in mind is that the fish are probably wherever their food source is, so think like a hungry muskie! Good luck!