Just returned from an excellent ice fishing trip. A long time friend and client, Peter Earnst, had invited me to join him ice fishing in the lakes country. As it is about a three and a half hour drive from Terrace we decided to take a couple days so we could see more of the area. The countryside is beautiful with a rich history of early settlers pioneering the wilds of northern B.C.
We fished a couple of the lakes for Char (Lake trout), Burbot and Brook trout. Temperatures we very favourable ranging from -3 to -11C. After drilling a couple holes in the ice, my partner Deanna and I were into fish almost immediately. Within the first ten minutes I hooked into a fish, which when it reached the surface and I saw it’s head in the hole, it suddenly propelled itself out of the hole and onto the ice. It was a lovely Char of 7.5 lb. Shortly after, Deanna landed a 10lb 4 ounce Char, and hooked another fish that took a lot of line before escaping. Needless to say the Char fishing had pleasantly surprised us both and exceeded our expectations. We fished for another couple of hours and had a few more takes and Deanna landed a Kokanee (a land-locked Sockeye salmon). Later that afternoon we put out a set line for Burbot with the hope of catching one overnight.
Next morning we returned to the lake with anticipation, but unfortunately the bait on our set line had gone and no Burbot was caught. We will definitely try again next time we visit the lakes as this is a fish neither of us have caught and they are reasonably plentiful in some of the lakes we were fishing.
We went to another lake to fish for Brook trout and caught several of these pretty fish that weighed around 1 lb. However, the lure of the Char was too hard to resist, so we returned to our other fishing spot hoping to catch a larger one. After a couple of hours of jigging Deanna landed one about 5 lbs. The locals told us that the average size of the Char caught are 5 to 7lbs, however, the largest fish caught in recent years weighed in at 48lb. A fish this size would certainly require drilling a significantly larger hole in the ice than we did.
The Char were caught jigging a Tom Mack lure between 60 to120 ft of water whilst the Brook trout were caught on bait in 6-12 feet of water.
We are now back home looking forward to our spring Steelhead season which starts in less than three weeks.