Hardwater Heaven: When, where and how to catch fish through the ice

Manitoba is blessed with countless regions, each that provide an opportunity to catch fish. Let’s take a look at hardwater opportunities in the southern reaches of the province.

Species: Walleye (Greenback phase), Sauger, Northern Pike

Season: January to March

Best for: Easily accessible ice fishing

The southern end of Lake Winnipeg is the sweet spot for ice fishing in these parts. The Red River dumps into the lake and fish tend to hang around these parts through the winter. On the east side, Balsam Bay seems to be the ticket. On the west side, take your pick from Lockport, Selkirk or Chalet Beach. All these spots are within an hour from Winnipeg. Ice fishing success is usually brisk, but it pays to move around if your spot isn’t producing. Double digit walleye are the norm. A short drive on the ice will put you on good spots. In some cases, a 15-minute walk from the shoreline will also get you there. Because all Manitoba waters freeze, ice fishing can be very good almost anywhere. Look for derbies in February and March that offer big prizes.

Hot lure: Rapala Crankin’ Rap, rattle baits, live minnows on a small jig

Looking for lodging information? Check out Travel Manitoba for fishing guides in this region.