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Thursday, November 26, 2020

First ice - ice Fishing November 2020

Over the past couple seasons, we have been lucky enough to get safe ice by mid to late November around Montreal. This year, there is no ice to be seen in the region. Luckily, a family friend has property on a small lake up in zone 9 in the Laurentians. Being the sole proprietor of the lakefront has it's benefits to say the least, and I was glad that he gave us full access any time.

Though I've fished there in open water in the past, I've never been there on ice. As the zone closes on November 30th, this season, I decided that one of my goals was to fish his small lake before the season closes for the winter there on December 1st.

Watching the forecast over the past few weeks, we headed up there twice in November, only to find unsafe ice. As frustrating as it was to have to return home without being able to ice fish, we'd rather not take any unnecessary risks.

Here is a short clip of some goofing around we did up there last week, before the ice was safe:

Ari and I finally found safe ice this morning. We got out on the lake, which had a solid 3.5 inches of ice. We immediately got into some good panfish action, though most of the perch and sunfish were very small. About an hour into the outing, Ari manage to hit some bigger perch, along landing a few jumbos.

The bite died down significantly after a couple hours or so. Shortly after noon, we got a visit from the surete du Quebec. The officer was concerned about us trespassing on private property, to which I replied that we had permission, and proceeded to call out friend on speaker phone. I also manage to alleviate his concerns about our safety on ice, and invited him to come and have a look for himself. Luckily, the officer happens to enjoy fishing, so he came out, saw that it was safe. He wished us luck, told us to be safe, and headed off.

The bite picked up again by mid afternoon. Ari and I managed to land a good a whopping 100 or so fish, mainly perch and sunfish, with a few small rock bass. Eventually, he hooked into a surprise largemouth bass,

We kept fishing hard, without much more success fro another hour or so. I finally hooked into what seemed to be another decent bass, until I got the fish up to the surface, and landed a giant perch. At 13 inches, it tied my previous best.

That was pretty much it for the day, aside for a few more smaller perch that hit late afternoon, just before we left.

Overall, another great outing on first ice, which over the years, has proven to offer some of the best fishing of the ice season no matter where we find it.

On our way home, I invite our friend that owns the property over for a perch dinner. Not only was he amazed at the size of the giant perch, but when I opened it in front of him, we all were very surprised to find an intact frog in it's belly in the dead of winter.

With more warm weather on the way, I'm afraid that his lake won't be safe again until the season closes for winter on it early next week. Will likely have to fish open water again until the next time I manage to find safe ice.

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