Monday, February 21, 2011

Little Lake, Cambridge

 It's Family Fishing Weekend in Ontario, and to celebrate this semi annual event Tackle Shop and I travelled to Little Lake in Cambridge once again just to prove we could fish this tiny lake effectively. The previous few days had seen record temperatures in the 50's F. followed by a flash freeze last night which left the lake barren of snow with 12 to 14 inches of semi clear, rippled ice. When we arrived at the lake it was just below freezing with clear skies and a slight breeze from the southeast, perfect conditions for our mission with one exception, our desired destination on the edge of a weed bed was already taken by several groups.

  TS deftly inserted himself between the groups while I set my tip up farther out from the crowd. After rigging the tip up with the usual 4'' shiner for pike, I drilled a series of holes and immediately found an active school of panfish. While I was working the school, TS was working his new neighbours Lee and Derrick, picking their brains for further info on the lake as they were locals and had already iced a half dozen decent pike and a few good perch.

  I'd been trying a variety of jigs, small spoons and rubber in an attempt to tempt when the bells on my tip up indicated some heavier action 100' feet away. For the first time in it's history, my tip up actually tipped over and if not for it's design, would have been dragged completely down the hole. By the time I reached the hole, only an inch of the cork handle was above water and the submerged reel's drag could still be heard screaming in protest to the powerful hit. After a brief fight we were all surprised by the size of the pike that nearly took my rig: a scrappy 24". Not a monster by any means but a good early start to the day.

 Meanwhile, Tackle Shop's new friend Derrick has iced another small pike and Lee, to my surprise has landed a 12"smallmouth bass! While all that excitement was happening, I'd broken out my secret weapon; a live maggot on a Northland's Hexi Fly jig. With this combo I quickly worked my way through the schools of small bluegill, pumpkinseed and perch in each hole, searching for the elusive schools of crappie that I never would find on this day.
Northland's Hexi Fly jig
Tiny Bluegill

 By mid afternoon Derrick packed up his fish, said his goodbye's and had his holes immediately taken over by TS. And so it seems we all shifted a little towards the left, as I'd worked my way through several schools of tiny fish and was now in the general area of TS and Lee. I'd already caught a personal best 4 species for the day and was working to increase that number when Lee dove for his rod, just a few feet away from my tip up, and landed a beautiful pound and a half largemouth!
The "Bass Man" Lee

  Not to be outdone for long, TS finally comes to life and lands a pike of his own, an identical twin to the fish I'd landed a few hours earlier. Tackle Shop's a real character at times. Notice in the pic below how he "lips" a pike as if it were a bass! I'm waiting for the day he tries that on a 40 incher!

Twins...perhaps, but mine was definitely eating better!
 By late afternoon the sun disappeared behind a solid cloud cover and the wind increased, foreboding another round of winter weather. TS and I both had numb fingers but the deciding factor to pack it in was the persistent threat of being run down by an overzealous motocross ice racer.
 TS had words with this "tool" and his family, stating the obvious lack of respect and inherent danger involved in the activity which stopped only long enough for us to leave the lake's surface. All things considered it was still a good day of fishing and of making new friends on the ice.


  1. Always a "tool" out on that lake burning gas and not a care in the world that they might loose control and hurt someone .. If they ever do survive the spill I'll stump em dead for being so stupid and careless.. Derrick

  2. Some nice Fish caught there John, And a great Bass from Lee, And if you ever get a picture of "Tackle Shop" lipping that 40 incher, It will be worth a fortune, As i dont think he will do it twice haha, As for the "tool" well they allways say they never thought about it, We call them "Numpties"
    Great write up and pictures John,

  3. That little lake must be a real fine fishery. Those are some nice Pike! I know they can come much bigger, but, I am still impressed. Obviously, I have never landed a Pike. Good to see the Bass and other fish doing well. As far as the "tool" goes, Forrest Gump says "Stupid is as Stupid does!"

  4. Lee's real nickname is the "Fish Whisperer." That's what his friends call him anyway. :)

  5. Nice post John. Never like to see someone's fingers inside of a pike's mouth though. OUCH! Keep the pics coming.

  6. Hexi-flys have been a good go to bait for me as well until my bud showed me some skandia tungsten jigs this year. They drop like a rock and can get back down to the fish quick, also they are heavy enough to fish with out split shot so its very sensetive when you get a light tap.

  7. Great catches there. Take a look at my blog it has some great tips.