Luring in family makes for a better fishing trip

My wife and I are fortunate to live about 15 kilometers outside of Kenora and for the most part, we love it.
Throughout the year, our spot keeps us close to nature and the outdoors, we have access to a small lake for kayak fishing in the summer and quick access to Lake of the Woods, where we like to fish most often. The downside to living where we do is having to travel into town during snow storms or to pick up simple supplies when we need them.
During this virus crisis and all of the unknown and uneasiness associated with it, we feel fortunate to be living where we do in Northwest Ontario. At this point, we are not experiencing the rampant spread of Covid-19 yet and hopefully we can keep it that way.
Since we have such easy access to fishing and the outdoors across our region, I think it’s okay to partake in some of these activities but remember to be cognizant of others – of potentially sharing or picking up the virus – when you’re traveling to the lake or the trail and when mingling with people.
Shelby and I have been doing quite a bit of ice fishing, especially over the past several days since the weather has been so nice. I really enjoy the fishing this time of year, because of the weather and the fishing is typically really good.
I feel like all fish species can feel more light getting through the ice as the snow melts and there is an influx of oxygen in our lakes from the runoff flowing in, fish just seem to amp up the activity levels.
Over the past few days, the fishing has been tougher during the day but it gets good in the evening, during the last hour or two of light, before dark. This is not uncommon on many waters across the region, especially for walleyes. We always used to call it the “prime-time” bite.
We have been having little friendly competitions between the two of us, the winner being the first one to catch four walleyes. Shelby has won the past two nights in a row so she has reminded me that I better mention it in this column.
We’re just fishing humps out on Lake of the Woods, in 28-34 feet of water and we’re using ¼ oz Northland Buck-Shot Spoons tipped with a minnow head. It’s the same bait that I’ve used walleye fishing for many years.
The traditional jig and minnow will still work for sure but I like to use a spoon for its ability to call fish in to me and because I enjoy watching my lure work on my flasher sonar unit and then figuring out how to trick the fish into biting it.
These spoons seem to be liked be all of the other species that might swim by as well, from lake trout to pike to whitefish so I like that I have a bait tied on that these other fish will probably bite. Not that they won’t bite a jig and minnow, but I think it’s just a better overall option.
Finally, we only tip the spoon with a minnow head because if you use the entire minnow, it just becomes too big of a package, if that makes sense. The spoon loses its ability to flutter and look natural with a whole minnow on it. We just use the head because we need that little bit of meat for its scent, to help trigger fish to bite. A piece of the tail will work as well but I like the head because it stays on the hook a little better.
Stay safe everybody.