I asked my husband to write about his recent ice fishing adventure:
We headed out the door at 7am, a lot later than our typical start to our past ice fishing adventures. For this trip our destination was Lake Nipissing’s Callander Bay and target species being the very tasty pickerel or more commonly called, walleye. Just three of us for this trip as two of my children could not get away and my wife refuses under any circumstance to venture out onto a frozen lake. I should mention that the ice was over 12 inches thick and my kids, well let’s just say they are young adults who continue to show the same enthusiasm as from years gone by when fishing with bobbers for pan fish.
For this trip, a short getaway, we decided to keep it simple and rented an ice fishing hut for the day through a local lodge operator. For the record, we rented your basic ice shack with wood burning stove. For those that have never rented a hut, these structures can range in amenities and while not for me, the extreme represents the textbook in the “boys long weekend”; a modest sleep over camp on ice equipped with kitchens, bedding areas, cable TV, out houses and of course fishing holes inside and out.
Arriving at our destination we met the lodge operator who immediately readied us for transport to the ice hut. This was a short jaunt in a dune buggy tracked vehicle reaching our pre-heated shack at 11:30am, holes dug ready to fish. Wow we were excited! I had just finished setting up the first outside line when the first shriek from inside the shack came; “missed one”. What, who missed one! In a matter of seconds, “got him again” and low and behold we had our first pickerel.
What a terrific day we had. I almost get teary eyed remembering the shear joy we shared in each others company and the day experiences. We ate like kings using our wood stove to re-heat homemade burritos and sampled smoked cheese and summer sausage on crackers. And while catching fish is only a bonus, all in all we caught about 15 pickerel and probably missed a dozen. Yes, we could have kept a couple (they exceeded the 18.1 inch slot requirement) but we sent every fish back down the hole having simply enjoyed the pleasure provided; this news makes my brothers cringe!
In typical fashion, the boys slept almost the entire ride home awakening at our doorstep and greeted with a warm hug from their mother. Wait, help unpack the car before you go off to bed!
If you want to spend a nice inexpensive day outdoors with your family, go ice fishing and rent a basic day hut. The operator can usually provide all the fishing equipment needed including bait and will guide you as to anything else you may or may not need. For this trip we rented the ice hut from Nanmark Cottages https://www.nanmarkcottages.com/ (Ryan). Enjoy!