The New Years weekend saw spring like, record temperatures and rain, followed by a flash freeze Sunday night. What we found when we got to the lake was a 500 acre skating rink, devoid of snow cover, slick as if the zamboni had just left, and as clear as a freshly cleaned window. Even though one of our party was prepared for these ice conditions with strap on cleats, the journey onto the ice proceeded slowly like a weird slapstick combination of Disney on Ice and the Keystone Cops. What I found most disconcerting was watching the bottom slowly fall away beneath my feet, to be replaced with lush weed beds and eventually the pitch black of deeper water. At this point, the Russian and I witnessed several pike spooked from their lairs by our progress, and it finally occurred to us that perhaps the ice conditions may prove to be more of a detriment to fishing other than limiting our mobility.
|Clear, Black, and Cracked|
The move was an improvement but what turned out to be key was keeping a distance from the lines and unnecessary movements to a minimum. At my new location the wait for the first bite took no time at all. Minutes after getting the second line in position, the tip up signalled activity and in my haste to set the hook, did a slide to the hole that would have made Ricky Henderson proud! With ice conditions as they were, immediately after hooking the pike, you could follow the flight's progress from the bottom right up to the hole.
|First of the Year|
At this point I'm going to talk about the concept of "the hot hole". Get your mind out of the gutter people, I'm talking ice fishing here. If you frequent iced over lakes with your friends, sooner or later you're going to witness the phenomenon where an individual can do no wrong and pull fish out all day long, while others fishing the same baits and tactics only a few feet away feel as invisible as an acne riddled, overweight teen at a junior high prom dance. Historically, I've usually been the wallflower, but this was my day and I wasn't moving until sundown!
Just after noon, our new friends from the last trip, Dave & Nick, showed up. Dave covered a huge area for a few hours in search of the elusive schools of crappie and finally settled nearby, content to catch a few pike. Nick and his friend immediately set up right next to us, covering a larger area with their set lines, and ultimately providing more amusement as they wildly slid from one active hole to another. Over the next few hours the action was sporadic but the trash talk was non stop.
|The End of a Perfect Day|
I apologise for the soundtract of this video. Sometimes You Tube disallows a soundtrack for copyright reasons after upload and you have to replace it from their limited and (sickening) middle of the road library
For more info on Puslinch Lake: http://www.thefishinguide.com/puslinch_lake_ON.shtml .
And remember, for bait visit: Tall Tales Bait and Tackle in Cambridge