FISHING CORNER: Lakes starting to ice over but not enough for ice fishing

This time of year you know that ponds, lakes and creeks will get iced over to some degree and here in Campbell River a number of ponds will be iced over.

Last week the clear weather was here with colder temperatures and no snow. One day on Highway 19, black ice was present during the night and early morning between Roberts Lake and Sayward. A stretch of the highway eight kilometres past Echo lake is windy and a vehicle had hit the ditch.

Meanwhile, a number of the locals have wrapped up their hunting season and reported open water on lakes west of Campbell River. With the wind and mild, wet weather, I have no plans to ice fish any lake around Campbell River. We need more of those cold weather days and ice thickness has to be a minimum of four inches. I won’t venture out trying to find out ice thickness on any lake.

This fall we went to a few lakes in Strathcona Park and after finding one, the locals mentioned they use all terrain vehicles to get to it in winter and fish through the ice. Another challenge is that many roads are gated, so you have to turn around head back and look for another way in.

Right across the prairies, ice fishing is a major winter recreation sport but remember, temperatures really dip down and ice thickness is not a problem. If you plan to head out make, sure you have a throw rope handy and some people even wear a life jacket in case they fall in the water.

My first ice fishing experience in B.C. was at a high elevation lake and once you had the hole cut, a small jig with a shrimp bait worked. Once the trout caught on though, the fishing slowed down and it was time to change locations dig another hole and fish for small tasty trout.

Lorna Duncan from Roberts Lake had mentioned that the lake hasn’t frozen over in years and the lake has big trout and kokanee. For many anglers, Roberts Lake is passed by because bait is banned and trout 50 cms or more have to be released. With the absence of snow, you can still get to the south end of the lake and fish from the dock using lures jigs and flies. The rest area on Highway 19 has garbage bins tables and toilets.

Coming up this month, a family returns to Campbell River for holiday salmon fishing and I look at fishing lures that stand the test of time. I made a visit to a local fabric shop and I found some interesting items that can save you money when it comes to tying patterns that can be used for salmon or trout fishing around Campbell River.

At the end of the season on Discovery Pier someone had placed a sign saying what is Santa’s favorite salmon? The answer next week in the fishing corner.