|In this issue:
ALL NEW ONTARIO FISHING MESSAGE BOARD
- Lake Nipissing. With fully equipped housekeeping
cottages, we offer the comfort everybody needs for a perfect
holiday, safe environment for the children, there's a playground
with swings and slides, badminton, horseshoes, paddle boat and
canoes are also available. Excellent fishing and hunting; for
the winter lovers, we are open year round.
Sunbeam Bungalows - A family and
fishing resort. Located in the small, picturesque hamlet of
Callander, Ontario, yet only 10 miles from larger city
attractions. Our resort is nestled under the pines, where we
offer clean, fully-furnished, deluxe, spacious cottages. Enjoy
Lake Nipissing which offers the best in fishing...we guarantee
to believe all stories about "the one that got away".
West Arm Lodge - Welcome to the
protected waters of Lake Nipissings "West Arm". Here,
overlooking reflections of white cottages in a mirror-smooth bay
is a private enclave complete with fresh flowers, manicured
lawns, and most important, an attentive staff. Every thing a
sportsman needs to catch Muskie, Northern Pike, Bass and Walleye
is on hand at Lake Nipissings' West Arm Lodge. And after you've
caught your limit, there's plenty more to eat, see and do
"Pounding the Panfish of Winter" By
tug-of-war with panfish during the cold of winter can be a rewarding
and exciting endeavor for anglers across Canada. Nothing beats the
pull of the line or the taste in the pan when dealing with these
scrappy adversaries. Whether it be crappie, perch or jumbo 'gills,
finding and knowing how to catch them is the key for a season of
Downsized Gear is Key
When chasing panfish on the hard water, specialized gear and
lures are necessary to get the job done. Ultralight tackle is
certainly the route to go, all the way from the rods right down to
the tiny baits. Choose an ultralight rod between 24 and 28-inches in
length. (Make sure the tip is sensitive and the lower half has some
backbone present.) Couple this up with an ultralight spinning reel,
with 4 or 6-pound test monofilament as your line.
As for baits, there is a myriad of lures out on the market
specifically designed for panfish. To keep things simple, I like to
carry three basic bait styles when heading out on the ice - spoons,
plastics and jigs. Spoons work great for attracting a fish's
attention, and will generally work well when they are in an
aggressive mood. Small gold or silver spoons in assorted styles will
do the trick. Tip the spoon with a couple of maggots or a small
piece of minnow for added scent and attraction.
Micro Tube Jigs or Twister Tails are also a productive lure,
especially for perch. Choose a bright color and the lightest jig
head you can get away with. A plastic bait tipped with a maggot will
also work well for added scent.
Lastly there are jigs. Jigging Rapalas (in the smallest size
available), Dave Genz's specialty panfish jigs or any of the
leadhead jigs work great. Tipping with minnows or maggots will up
your catch ratio, and experimenting with which the fish prefer is a
step I take when out on the ice.
For the most part, when it comes to choosing what to use, I start my
day off with a more active or "search" type bait (such as a spoon)
and then change and alter my presentation depending on the mood of
the fish. If they are extremely finicky or biting lightly, I will
dead-stick a small jig and minnow with little or no action in order
to tempt their palate. I've had great success this year fishing the
Genz Worm tipped with a Berkley Power Maggot. (The jig even glows in
the dark when a bright light is shone on it - a perfect attractant
for night fishing or murky water conditions.)
Sending Out the Search Party
Panfish can be somewhat challenging to locate during the hard
water period, due in part to the amount of lake there is to cover.
For shallow-style lakes, panfish will generally be in one area -
namely the bottom. Hugging the bottom structure is a trait that
crappies, perch and gills exhibit during winter, and presentations
have to be in this "magical" zone in order to work. Look for subtle
structure areas in these shallow lakes - things such as slight
drop-off or points - and the panfish shouldn't be too far away.
Crappies rarely suspend in these shallow lakes, which is something
they are prone to do when the lake depth increases.