[nggallery id=403]Yesterday I had a chance to check out the ice conditions and fishing action from Lake Simcoe’s west-shore. Paul Hardy, Cliff Zatursky, my pup Mulligan and I left the Niagara Peninsula around 6:30am and arrived in Lefroy, ON around 8:30am. I was curious to see what the ice conditions would be like after the rain we had on Dec. 31, 2010 when my wife Barbara, myself and Mulligan fished out of Pefferlaw, ON. At that time the ice was 15″ thick about 1-mile from shore with 4″ of surface water. As you probably know, the west-side of Lake Simcoe has lot’s of deep-water not that far from shore, so it takes a little longer to freeze-up so that it is safe.
We walked out about 1 mile to water that was 40′ deep and the ice thickness was 6″. Walking was challenging since all of the surface water had frozen and the ice surface was like walking on polished glass! I only fell one, Paul fell 4-times and Cliff didn’t fall once!! Our plan was to limit-out on jumbo perch and than try for some whitefish further out. As soon as we cut our first holes we knew it was going to be challenging fishing since there was lot’s of suspended particles and sheets of ice directly under the ice. This made it tough for our Jigging Rapala’s to get through the “slush” and we had to continuously clean our holes with the scoop and whenever we brought a perch through the hole there was more slush and 1/4″ sheets of ice clogging the hole. Air temperature was OK, around -5C with a wind chill, so rod guides had to be cleaned out regularly.
The jumbo perch were very active and I left after about 2-hrs. of perch fishing to venture into deeper water and too check out the ice thickness. I walk out to about 70′ of water, and cut my first hole. The ice was 3″ thick. I fished one hole for about 1-hr. and lost 3-whitefish. I headed back to the boys just in time to watch Paul land his first whitefish while fishing for perch in 38′ of water. It was a good outing. I had a chance to fish the new Rapala R-Type spinning and baitcasting ice outfits again loaded with Sufix Ice Magic line and they performed very well even in sub-zero temperatures. I am hoping to head back up to concentrate on whitefish before the end of the week. Time to clean some perch for dinner!!