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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Ice fishing trout at Coin Lavigne

Kids are off school for the holiday / new year's break. In what's quickly becoming a yearly tradition, we headed up North to Pourvoirie Coin Lavigne Outfitter for some easy speckled trout and rainbow trout fishing on ice.

From our past experiences at Pourvoirie Coin Lavigne Outfitter, I knew the kids would be in for a treat. I packed them each a jigging rod, rigging three of them for live worms, and the fourth with a small spoon. Although I didn't need to at all, I brought along my Humminbird flasher and manual auger just in case fishing would be tougher than expected and we'd need to prospect further out than the area immediately in front of out cabin.

We arrived around 9:30 AM, signed in, got dressed in our snow gear, and one of their friendly staff picked us up in their oversized quad. The 4 of us packed in with our gear, and a couple minutes later, we were on Lac en Coeur, the main ice fishing lake on their territory.

Included with the trout quota you purchase are the transport to the lake, a log oven heat cabin near your holes, hole drilling, and tips ups. Bait is extra. Basically, a great spot for kids or people new to ice fishing, as their is little work to do besides baiting your lines and catching trout.

Their exclusive lakes are stocked with 80,000 trout every season. While winter stockings happened once a month in the past, this season, it's going to be bi-weekly throughout the winter. With the trout being stocked last week and relatively low fishing pressure since then, we knew we'd make short work of our 3 quotas using techniques I've tinkered with over the years for catching trout on ice.

The three boys started off with a multi hook setup, basically a small number 8 baitholder hook about 10 inches off the bottom, follow by a 1/32 ounce jig at the bottom. Both hooks tipped with half a worm.

In no time, Eli, Avi and Ari, caught the first few trout. By the time we caught 7 or 8 trout, we noticed that the average size was quite small. As releasing fish is strictly forbidden, I switched all the kids lines to lures, in order to attempt catching some bigger, aggressive fish. We fished a small Williams spoon, W3 Rapala Jigging raps, and a Swedish Pimple. Most were tipped with either live mealworms, or small bits of earthworm. The added scent / protein seemed to entice them to bite quite aggressively, often chasing the lures right up the ice holes.

The technique yielded good results, both speckled trout and rainbow trout in the 12 to 13 inch range were most of what we started hooking.

We kept the fish in a large 5 gallon pail filled with water to avoid them freezing, and to keep them alive as long as possible, while remaining in good shape for pictures. After only hour of fishing, I knew we had to count them, as we were limited to a 30 trout bag limit due to having 3 fishing licenses between us. We had 28 trout at that point!

After taking care of the kids fishing needs during the outing, I allowed myself the last fish to complete the quota.

After a 2 hour drive home, I put Ari and Avi to work with me at the fillet table. While I did the sides, Ari did the ribs, and Avi did the wrapping. All went relatively quick and easy, the 20 or so speckled trout and 10 Rainbow trout are now resting in pieces in my freezer.

All in all, amazing results for a bit over 1 hour of fishing. I highly recommend Pourvoirie Coin Lavigne Outfitter, especially for beginners and kids to get initiated into ice fishing. Friendly helpful staff, good service, and amazing trout fishing, and located less than 2 hours drive from Montreal in the clean, pristines mountain settings of the Lanaudiere region adjacent to the Laurentians.

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