The biggest surprise for me was that it took less than ten minutes to get there from my front door. I knew from the onset that it would be a challenging day. There's always some uncertainty when fishing new ice...where are the access points?, parking, finding structure and active fish, but the biggest obstacle for the day were the weather conditions. All week long the temperature had hovered around the freezing mark, a little snow here, some rain there and Saturday's forecast was for a new system to blow in across Lake Ontario from the south.
It looked as if we were finished for the day by noon but as TS changed into dry cloths at the van he asked where else can we go. Luckily I'd brought along a map and it was decided we'd travel 30 Km north to Musselman's Lake. In the past we'd both fished this popular pothole lake in the summer but had never ventured out onto it in the winter. Upon arrival we were greeted with a snowbound ghost-town, the small resident population keeping a low profile but most assuredly aware of invading city slickers ignoring the multitude of NO TRESPASSING signs. It looked as if we had no access to the ice when TS exercised his small town common sense and asked a property owner if we could cross his right of way! Who knew it could be that easy?
Not only did the owner grant us permission but he told us to fish the drop off 100 yards from shore where the weed bed ends in 15 fow. We set up in the prescribed location and as is my habit, I drilled a series of holes covering a whole range of depths from 6 to 20 feet. TS dead sticked his two rods baited with shiner minnows while I roamed from hole to hole armed with my sonar and a jigging Rapala minnow.
So to sum up the day I'd say no fish on new ice...but a lot of the fun is in the exploration!