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Ontario Fishing Network
Volume 5,  Issue 1 - January 2005


In this issue:

Our Fishing Video Site is up and running. If you have hi-speed internet access click here to see some great short fishing video clips.  We've added a few new UNDERWATER Videos

Midnorth Outpost Camps - We have fly-in remote fishing & hunting outpost camps, located half way between Elliot Lake and Chapleau. Choose from several lakes that offer fishing for Walleye, Northern Pike, Lake Trout, Brook Trout, White Fish, Bass, & Perch. We als have a variety of hunting options available.

Snowmobiling Vacations We offer several winter vacation options. You can snowmobile hundreds of kilometres of groomed trails, go cross country skiing on nearby trails, take a dog sled tour, or enjoy some of our breathtaking scenery. You can also try your hand at ice fishing on one of the hundreds of lakes in this area. Regardless of what you do at the end of the day you can come back to the lodge and relax beside a cozy fireplace and enjoy some of the great food offered in our licensed dining room.

Glen Echo Ice Bungalows - Ice fishing at Glen Echo takes on a whole new meaning. Our "BUNGALOWS ON THE ICE" offer a truly unique experience. You stay on the ice in our comfortable, fully equipped four and six man housekeeping bungalows. Each bungalow features propane heat, lights and stove as well as a table and chairs and a kitchen complete with pots, pans, dishes and utensils. We have even added a TV and a propane BBQ.

Greening Bay Ice Fishing - "For top-notch quality, service and pricing, Greening Bay Cottages offers the best in ice fishing packages on the south shore of Lake Nipissing. Deluxe accommodations, reliable heated transportation to heated huts, great fishing. All equipment supplied. We're the "REEL DEAL". For more information, please contact 705-752-3558 (Added: 27-Sep-2002 Hits: 1181)

Ice Bungalows - Stay in your own bungalow on the ice on Lake Nipissings south shore (Added: 9-Jan-2001 Hits: 3078)

"Tinkering With the Lures of Ice and Snow"
  By Justin Hoffman

Anglers are a believing bunch. Most of us are willing to take a lure straight from the package and tie it on our line, never once questioning whether it will catch fish like the manufacturer professes it to. The fact of the matter is, every lure on the market can be improved or tinkered with in order to improve its fish catching abilities, allowing the intuitive angler the freedom to catch more and bigger fish each time they head out.

In terms of ice fishing, tinkering is not as widespread as it is for open water fishing, and in my opinion, that is a big mistake. Why show the fish the same lure time and time again, when you have the creative ability to show them something that will truly get their engine running?

Putting On the Prism
Prism, or foil sided tape is a nifty invention that can dramatically alter your lures appearance. Primarily used by Great lakes trollers in search of salmon and trout, ice fishing anglers in the know are slowly beginning to realize the potential this self-adhesive has.

Since prism tape has reflective qualities, it can replicate the flash and sheen that baitfish and prey give off, attracting and drawing in those hungry predators from afar. And, because it comes in long rolls or large sheets, it can be cut and formed into any shape you desire, allowing limitless customization benefits to the angler.

Depending on the water clarity, prism tape can be added to a spoon to offer more flash when murky, yet can also give your species of choice greater color combinations to choose from. For instance, this can be most effective when targeting walleye, as biologists have discovered that red, yellow, green and orange are the most visible hues in the spectrum for this species. (Snipping a square of red or orange tape and sticking it to your silver spoon could possibly lead you to many more fish!)

The other benefit of carrying prism tape with you on the ice, is that it allows you to make a quick lure color change if one shade suddenly turns hot. If your buddy starts slaying the fish on a purple spoon, you can get in on the game (and hopefully the fish), by applying the appropriate color, right there in the field. Now what could be simpler than that?

Upgrading your hooks to a high quality and razor sharp model will see your catch rates increase tremendously.

Making Some Sound
We all know the importance of rattling crankbaits, or how adding BB shot to soft plastics helps attract more fish. Fish will hone in on these sounds through the use of their lateral line, enabling them to locate prey and ultimately feed. Although there are some spoons and lures on the market that have sound producing modifications, for the most part, this is an untouched territory when it comes to the majority of ice fishing tackle.

When dealing with murky water, or when fish are scattered or neutral, sound producing lures are paramount. In order to achieve a "beat' down below, I've found that the simple addition of a plastic or steel worm rattle, super glued to the belly of your spoon, will nicely do the trick. These lightweight rattles won't interfere with the fluttering action of your bait, but will add an enticing clatter to the water beneath your feet.

Regulate the size of rattles in accordance to your bait. For an extra feature, mask the rattle with a strip of prism tape. Not only will this hold the chamber more securely, but will give off an additional flash to fool the fish.

Toss In Some Feathers
The quintessential aspect of a topwater bass lure is the feather-adorned rear treble. This undulating appendage provides flash, color and an added target, all excellent features to provoke a fish to strike. How about a feathered-treble on the ice fishing spoons we all use?

This nifty little adaptation has accounted for many more fish for me over the years. The way I looked at it is, if it works for surface striking bass, why the heck won't it work for perch, walleye and lakers below the ice. The truth is - it does.

My top two choices in terms of feathered-trebles are made by Excalibur and Gamakatsu. Not only are the feathers well constructed and colorful on these two models, but they also come combined with a high-quality and razor sharp hook. Put the two together and you can't help but catch fish.

A feathered treble won't in any way interfere or impede with a tipped minnow. In fact, I feel that it gives the minnow a bulked-up appearance, definitely helpful and not a hindrance to the fish. If you find the feathers to be too long in length, simply trim it down to size with a pair of sharp scissors.

Biggie-Size Those Hooks
It still amazes me the number of ice fishing lures on the market that come standard with inferior and sub-sized hooks. I've seen some walleye spoons that are more appropriate for panfishing, judging by the tiny treble hook that was displayed.

Upgrading your hook a size or more will accomplish two things. It will ensure a positive hook set when a fish strikes, increasing the chance of metal meeting flesh. A larger hook will also allow you to tip your lures with bigger minnows - oftentimes a benefit when chasing down aggressive prey.

I religiously change the hooks on all of my baits before heading out on the ice each year. Not only do I feel that larger trebles have increased the amount of fish I ice, I also know that this upgrade to premium hooks certainly helps in the landing department.

My three standard hooks I prefer to use are the Excalibur Rotating Treble, the Owner Treble and the Mustad Ultra Point Triple-Grip. The thing I like about these three styles is the luxury I now have by doing away with my hook hone. These hooks are as sharp out of the package as they ever will be, and will in fact become duller if you attempt to file them. This is a definite plus in my books. The rotating action of the Excalibur treble is also an effective feature - especially when applying pressure to a fish that is directly beneath your rod tip.

Wimpy hooks made from inferior materials should be a thing of the past. But until they are, biggie-size those hooks and upgrade to a premium quality design. You won't regret it.

Tinker with your ice baits this year, and be prepared to take your lures to the next level. Change is good below the ice, and will ultimately enable you to enjoy a better season out on the hard stuff this year.

There's no better feeling than perfecting your ice fishing presentations.


Tinkering With the Lures of Ice and Snow
Tip Up Upkeep

Late Season Steelies
Sight Fishing 101 for Trophy Pike
Fishing Lodge Classifieds
Downloadable Lodge Guide
Fishing Photo Gallery
Ice Fishing Cartoon
Upload your Fishing Pictures

Free Fishing Classifieds
Upload your Fishing Pictures

Our Fishing Video Site is up and running.
If you have hi-speed internet access click here to see some great short fishing video clips

Archived Articles Here

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