Ready set go, let the race begin. We are not talking Olympic competition here, but there is a potential trophy on the line. Not the shiny cup type of trophy that occupies a shelf in the den, but one that might just qualify as a catch of a lifetime.
It’s day four of our five days of winter in Algoma and ice fishing is the name of the game.
As we enjoy the warmth and comfort of the fishing hut, outside tip-ups (see photo below) sit guarding a few extra holes and rods. When a tip-up releases its flag, it’s fish on and the race begins. First person to get there claims whatever is at the end of the line.
We start the day at beautiful Wakomata Shores Resort where we meet up with fishing guide Adam Vallee, of Angling Algoma. Using a local fishing guide is a good idea any time you are exploring new areas but there is no better time of year to apply that advice than winter.
I tell you, once you see a frozen lake you have seen them all and trying to figure out where to start would be a real head-scratcher. Adam brings much more to the table, or should I say the ice, than local knowledge.
There are the dozen fishing rods, tackle, bait, electronics, an auger to cut through the ice, heaters for the hut, ATV, and sled to move things around and even a portable hut.
We waste no time, drop our bags at the cabin and hit the ice. Wakomata Lake is renowned for its lake trout population, a species which neither one of us have caught before.
As we play tourist snapping selfies featuring Algoma’s expanse of ice, land, and sky, Adam goes about his business of drilling holes, setting up rods and baiting hooks. We are fishing in 60 to 80 feet of water and live minnows are the bait of choice.
Before all rods are even set up a flag pops up, fish on and just like that, 30 minutes into our first ice fishing experience, we tick lake trout off the list.
- Martin Lortz