Despite one of the most remarkable winters in many decades here in Ontario, there have been several occasions when fishing has been extremely tough. Beautiful thick ice, cold temperatures, plenty of snow cover and a chance to safely access anywhere you like on your favorite lake. Man, you would think the fish would be practically jumping thru your holes. Ah - but with few exceptions, such has not been the case; at least not for many of us hard water fishin fanatics who are quick to admit, "Dang- fishin has been tough!"
Anglers- whether they're hard water or soft water freaks – love to blame the weather and I can be as guilty as the next guy.
Wil with one of his nice jumbos
A couple of weekends ago, we went for whities 5 miles out onto Lake Simcoe, without huts, when temps were -23C, with 50 KMPH winds. Lots of fish were marked on our Lowrance Elite Units- but none fell victim to our quivering baits. Usually we strive to enhance our lures with that subtle quiver motion but that really wasn't needed last week- the shaking came without even trying! We've had high winds and way-below normal temps for most of the 2014 season so far so it's been an on-going excuse.
Ah- but then came a break in the weather last weekend. We had yet another major snowstorm here in southern Ontario, so despite a strong desire to fish Lake Simcoe, I just didn't want to test the roads. My preference was to fish the main lake again- this time for lake trout.
My son Izaak however wanted to go for perch. I said the mid-winter perch blahs had set in already and everything I'm hearing and seeing on the ice has been small. He didn't think that should stop us from trying. "Maybe this break in the weather will turn them on dad!"
I had no sooner drilled my first hole, when a beautiful 11 ¾ inch jumbo engulfed my HT football head and Trigger X Nymph. Then another and another ... Soon it was Izaak's turn- only his HT Glow Grub with a small Storm minnow was soon out-producing my bait. We were fishing in 29 feet of water and although perch were smacking these baits first thing in the morning, we had to tease them off bottom soon after- but at least we could still get them to bite. We took home about 15 beautiful keepers and released the rest.
Wil's son Izaak with one of several perfect sized eaters from Lake Simcoe
All in all – it was a great morning of perch fishing (even though Izaak out fished me!) and despite the poor perchin' results and crazy weather for the last several weeks it was just a matter of time before the big ones turned on again – making us glad we took advantage of the break in the weather- despite the odds!