Ice Fishing at Southern Shore of Lake Winnipeg

I’m visiting family in Manitoba and despite it being officially spring now, Lake Winnipeg is still completely iced over so I went with my brother and a friend to do some ice fishing on Good Friday. We left home at quarter to 6 in the morning in the dark of night and found that there had been a fresh snowfall while we’d slept. Though we had predicted a nice, mild spring day of ice fishing, it turned out being bitter cold, with the thermometer showing -10 Celsius and the windchill on the lake making it feel like -20.

Upon arrival to the dock at Balsam Bay, parking the truck proved to be a challenge. With the new snowfall, it was hard to see where the shoulder ended and the ditch began. We pull over a bit too much into the ditch and my brother had to call a tow truck to get it unstuck. While that was an unfortunate start to the day, we shook it off and got on with ice fishing.

Initially, our friend and I set out alone while my brother waited by his truck for the tow truck driver. We loaded up our sleds with supplies and gear, attached them to the back of a 4-wheel ATV, and set off onto the lake to start fishing. We didn’t go too far and we didn’t setup a tent yet since we planned to go much further out onto the lake once my brother could join us so we just drilled some holes in the ice with an auger and started fishing.

After my brother finished with getting his truck unstuck and rejoined us, we packed up and went a few more kilometers onto the ice, drilled 6 holes and setup our tent. Out on the ice, far away from shore, the windchill was harsh. The tent made a remarkable difference in cutting down on the windchill factor.

We sat there for a couple hours, chatting, fishing and munching on snacks. The fish weren’t biting. We picked up and moved another couple of kilometers onto the ice and tried again.

We fished at the new spot for a couple more hours but in the end, it seemed like the fish just weren’t that active at that part of the lake (Lake Winnipeg is VERY big) so we called it a day, packed up and went home. Despite not catching any fish, it was still a cool experience both literally and figuratively and I hope to do it again sometime.

Whenever I go fishing, I try not to expect to catch anything. If I do, that’s great but if I don’t, it’s no big deal. For me, it’s all about the experience.