Ice-fishing for trout a tradition

Jan. 1 is a significant date for ice-fishing anglers from all over the place because it marks the opening of the lake trout season across Sunset Country,
For many, it’s a tradition to get out on the ice and fish for lake trout on New Year’s Day.
I spent a couple of days chasing lake trout over the past week and had some mixed results, based mostly on the weather. We did well one day when we were faced with cold weather and light wind, then had a tougher time a couple of days later when the wind was really blowing hard.
The appeal for lake trout is that they are an aggressive fish in cold water, so on many days they are eager to bite. As well, they aren’t bad to eat, either.
Going back to the tradition thing, it’s a been a longstanding tradition for the Lindner clan, the famous fishing family from Minnesota, to travel to the Nestor Falls and Sioux Narrows area for the Jan. 1 trout opener.
Last week, Jim Lindner, along with his son, Nick, and some friends, stayed at Crawford’s Camp in Sioux Narrows and spent a few days chasing trout on area lakes.
They spent their first day fishing Whitefish Bay on Lake of the Woods and caught five trout, then went into a smaller inland lake on the second day and caught more than 50 fish between five anglers.
That is a good day of fishing!
Most of these fish were in the eight- to 12-pound range, which if you have ever caught one, you know how great they fight.
The hot lure for them remained the classic white tube jig—a popular choice with area anglers.
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Last week I mentioned that planning for the 2013 Kenora Bass International and Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship tournaments was well underway.
Over the past week, I also heard from people working with some of the other great bass tournaments that will be taking place across the region again this year.
The “Castin’ For Cash” event, a fun tournament that runs out of Lake Despair Lodge north of Devlin, is set for July 5-6. Entry forms will be available on the lodge website in March.
The Shoal Lake Big Bass Classic will run July 13-14. Anglers will be able to sign up with Greg Zdep at K-Sports in Kenora, or pay the morning of the event with tournament organizers.
The Bronzeback Classic, meanwhile, will be taking off on Lake of the Woods in Kenora on July 20-21. Anglers will be able to start signing up March 1, either in person at The Wharf Marine or by printing an entry form from the tournament website.
This event has been filling up fast in recent years so make sure you plan to register early.
Finally, the ever-popular “Bassin’ For Bucks” tournament in Sioux Narrows will be held the weekend after Labour Day (Sept. 6-8).
This tournament runs from the Government Dock in Sioux Narrows, and is a favourite of many local anglers because of the great fishing in this part of the lake and the format, which kicks out a lot of prizes.
There are other events taking place around the region, but at this time these are the ones I’ve had confirmation on.
If you get the chance to chase lake trout under the ice this winter, I recommend giving it a shot. If you’ve never tried it, you’ll enjoy the experience.
If you have caught lake trout, you know how much fun they are.
And for the tournament anglers out there, the countdown for spring is on. Hopefully, these dates can help you plan your season.
For anyone out there interested in getting into fishing these events, they are a lot of fun. Feel free to contact the organizers of any of these events if you have any questions.
Contact information for most of these events is available on the tournament webpages.