Ice Fishing in Canada

2 02 2009

Ice fishing is a completely new experience for us coming to Canada from the UK.  But for those who live by lakes or rivers it is a real winter sport. The river estuary of the La Have  that runs to Bridgewater is very like the River Tay at Dundee as it goes upstream to Perth. Once the temperature goes to freezing the La Have freezes over completely. This is quite amazing as it is salt water. We saw our first ice fishers last year and then a couple of weeks ago they were out in force again.

There are various forms of shelter used by the fishermen. Some seem to have portable huts that they drag out onto the ice. These huts come complete with a stove for warmth and probably to cook the fish. Others have sort of tent like structures that are built on site.

ice-fishing-4

This looks like someone’s garden shed.

The first rule of ice fishing is to  be certain that the ice you are fishing on is safe. As a general rule, you should wait until there is a minimum of 6 inches of solid ice on a river or lake before attempting to fish on it. There are also different types of ice, and it is wise to familiarize yourself with all of them before beginning.
“Black ice,” is the name given to patches with ice that are mostly clear, and containing only air bubbles. Black ice is considered safer than the deceptively-named, “white ice,” which is not clear, and contains melted snow that has re-frozen. In general, ice fishing beginners should avoid white ice altogether.

Holes are cut in the ice with some form of auger and then the fisherman is ready to start. I read that sonar units are used to show you where the fish are, otherwise you miss out on the true joys of ice fishing!!

ice-fishing-3I think these lads are having a sleep while waiting for the fish to bite.


But ice fishing is not a solitary sport. In fact all the books say that you must not do it alone, for safety reasons. Normally where you find one fishing hut you find several. It seems to be a real social event, with many groups totally engrossed in the sport.

ice-fishing-1

A real social activity.

I really enjoyed fishing for mackerel off the piers in the summer and always enjoyed sea fishing , but I can’t really see myself getting into this ice fishing. Maybe I’m just too old for this unfamiliar activity.

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3 responses

4 02 2009
Jimmy Jackson

That looks so cold!

7 02 2009
Anne Logie

Can`t imagine how boreing this can be,or are they escaping their wife`s!!!

18 11 2009
sartenada

Fishing on ice is common here, but those “huts” we do not have. Ice in Your photos was was very natural looking.

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