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It Was Quinte Gold

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It Was Quinte Gold

Find out what a day of ice fishing on the Bay of Quinte is really like. • Credit: Rob Henry

Ontario Ice Fishing Hot Spots from a local Angler

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I woke up to my alarm clock blaring at 4 am Saturday morning; the start of my day had finally begun. It was a calm bitter morning as I dressed for the weather and put on my long Johns, snow pants, coats, gloves and my toque. As I walked to my vehicle early in the morning, my truck was slow to start but that didn't stop me. I loaded the sled and the portable hut onto the truck. As I left my house, we made a traditional stop to Tim Horton's and off we went to the Bay of Quinte.

We had finally arrived to the Bay of Quinte. As we were unloading the sled and the hut, we picked our spot and decided to mark the navionics. Every time I hit the open water, I use Navionics. It's a great app to have because it shows depths and contours, as well as in certain areas it shows what the bottom looks like. For me, it also helps to pin point areas of interest and saves time, by showing me general depths instead of constantly drilling hole after hole and taking a reading with a flasher. If you have a smartphone you can download Navionics. As we were fishing, I saw a spot that sparked my interest. So we decided to set up three hundred metres off shore. This was about 26 feet of water. We were finally all set and warm, so we took our gloves off and tied on our favourite lures.

snowmobiling bayofquinte
(Photo credit: Rob Henry)
icefishing auger bayofquinte
(Photo credit: Rob Henry)

When I fish, I use a twenty four inch ultra light rod with a six pound line because I enjoy the fight. My girlfriend Melissa, who was with me on this day, uses a twenty five inch medium spooled with eight pound line. She uses this because when she fishes her adrenalin starts going when she hooks a fish, and she wants to make sure she catches the fish. As for lures, I like to use buck-shots for walleye.

icefishing lures walleye
(Photo credit: Rob Henry)

With both of our lures tied, we turned on the flashers. Ever since I purchased my Humminbird Ice-35, my hook-up percentage has gone up tremendously. Humminbird Ice-35 lets you see when fish come in or under you for a peak at your presentation. From there you can see what they want and like and coax them into biting with different techniques.

(Photo credit: Rob Henry)

As the flashers were finally warmed up, we tipped our buck-shots with a single minnow through the head. We opened our spools and watched the lures drop down to the bottom. When I jig, I flick my wrist a few times than lift my lure about two feet than return within the foot off the bottom. Next I drop my lure right to the bottom which hits the bottom with the lure to stir up the Silt a little bit. I then returned it within a foot off the bottom. I repeat this a few times within a minute.

Saturday morning was a tough bite with a lot of lookers before we figured out what they wanted. We found they seemed to spook quite easily. They would come up, look and suddenly disappear. My next fish was approaching but I decided to reel in really slow and the mark on the flasher was following it. So I kept reeling it in and slightly flicked my wrist to bounce the lure just a touch. I had the fish ten feet off the bottom. Finally I felt the weight of the fish and I set the hook! Although it put up one heck of a fight, I reeled it up to the ice and it slowly came up head first, through the hole. Before I released the fish back into the Bay of Quinte to produce more like this one, I took a quick picture.

bayofquinte walleye icfishing
(Photo credit: Rob Henry)

Melissa and I had something figured out. Our next fish we saw on the flasher was just as big as the previous one. I lifted my lure but it didn't follow. Melissa lifted her lure and the chase was on! She reeled the fish nice and slow. With the anticipation of a bite killing her, she kept her cool and had the fish up fifteen feet off the bottom and then it happened. The rod bent and the drag screamed. The fish broke away but we got a nice glimpse of it when it passed the whole. It was a nice fish! The ice was four inches thick. It was crystal clear as the sun reflected a beautiful gold glow off the fish. It was "Quinte Gold". Its head turned and it came through the eight inch hole. Time for another quick picture and back down the hole it went to live on. We finished our day with four other fish between 2 and 5 pounds.

melissa walleye bayofquinte
(Photo credit: Rob Henry)

On day two, we decided to change the location on the Bay of Quinte. Right before the sun rose, I set up in 18 feet of water after a 5 km tour across the Bay on the sled. It was a long tough morning with lots of fish coming in for a look on the flasher but I only managed to hook one walleye which was about 4 pounds. I stuck it out and waited for the evening bite. After being patient, it was 3 o'clock and my flasher started to light up. I was off to a slow start with two lookers but I was able to fool the third one into a strike. It flew past the hole, back and forth, it seemed like forever. The fish was tired and I was able to land it.

icefishinghut bayofquinte
(Photo credit: Rob Henry)

As the sun has just fallen, I had released my last fish, I was ready for another. I had two marks come on the flasher but they wanted nothing to do with my presentation. I was stumped; the last fish hammered the bait while the other fishes were passing up a free meal. My mind was racing with possible ideas to entice these walleyes to bite. I reeled up to make sure I still had a minnow on my buck-shot which I did. Hmm, with my hut now getting too dark to see, I turned on my LED lights. That wasn't the only light that turned on...I had an idea! The buck-shots have glow in the dark paint on them. I held the lure under the lights for a few seconds and bingo. It was bright! I dropped it back down the hole and not a minute passed and I was hooked up. This one was big! It was a tight squeeze through my eight inch hole. I snapped a few pictures and then hooked it to the scale. It was over eleven pounds! "This is why I fish the Bay of Quinte", I told myself. I slipped the eleven and a half pounder back down the hole so she could return to the depths.

robhengry walleye ontario
(Photo credit: Rob Henry)

It was 6 pm and the night bite was over and so was my weekend. I began to pack up the hut and headed to the truck. I made a lot of memories at the Bay of Quinte. As I was travelling back home, I am already thinking of the next place I have planned to fish. There are endless possibilities out there. If I can do it, so can you. Make those dreams a reality!

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