Fishing Report December 2013
December 26, 2013 - January 1, 2014
This is easily the longest and coldest stretch of bitter weather I can remember, with numerous night time lows exceeding -30 below zero, and plenty of wind. Daytime high temperatures are below zero as well. As cold as it has been, it has not stopped the walleyes from feeding, and we have caught a few real beauties including a very fat 27 incher. I will add a few fish pictures to the Catch Photos section to show you what is swimming beneath the ice. The bite during the day has picked up somewhat, but the bigger walleyes are still biting during the sunset window. The cold temperatures have done little to remedy the major slush under the snow over large segments of Woman Lake. Travel is difficult, but we are still finding our fish on the sand breaks less than 100 feet from shore. I am looking forward to getting more mobile soon and fish some of the structure on the main lake basin.
December 20-23, 2013
The extreme cold continues with temperatures as low as -31 below, but we still only have about 12 inches of ice on Bungey Bay. We have caught walleyes up to 21 inches, but still only seeing a couple fish per night. The walleye bite remains focused around a narrow time window near sunset - about 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM right now. Northern pike and perch are biting during daylight hours, but no luck with the walleyes during the daytime. We are still fishing the closer shoreline and breaks (18-19 feet deep), due to heavy slush conditions which has our limited travel.
December 12-16, 2013
The hard water fishing season has officially opened with a long, bitter cold spell that may rewrite local weather record books. I don't remember a cold stretch ever running this long (going on 3 weeks) or this frigid (many consecutive nights less than -20 below). Amazingly, we only have 7" of ice on Woman Lake (as of 12/14) after all that cold weather. The heavy layer of snow we received must provide remarkable insulation. I do remember sleeping outside on sub-zero nights in a snow quinzee we built and staying quite comfortable all night, so I understand. But I am still surprised we do not have a foot of ice.
I have been walking out with a portable Otter shelter in tow, and finding fish on the shoreline sand breaks of Woman Lake. The walleyes are active most every afternoon during a narrow window around sunset. Fishing vertical spoons and small shiner minnows 17-18 feet deep, we have caught walleyes up to 20" in length, but so far only a couple fish per trip. The northern pike are active all day if you want to target that species. Big active shiner minnows seem to work well on these toothy critters. Once the ice gets an inch or two thicker we can begin to explore some more proven locations on the main lake basin. The keeper perch bite on the mid-depth sand flats (12-15 feet deep) and reef tops should also get started before the end of the month, once we get some mobility with the ATV. If we get too much snow for the ATVs, you will need to resort to snowmobiles or long, cold walks to get to the better fishing locations. It looks like driving trucks on the ice is still a long ways off, so be careful out there.