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Southern Belle, Goes Ice Fishing in Canada

The author, Paige Duke, catches a giant pike through the ice with Guide Jeff Gustafson!

Big pike rewards celebrity angler on her first trip!

Paige Duke is known for her appearances on CMT among other venues. Watch Paige as she visits Ontario's Sunset Country on an ice fishing adventure in Canada



My Northern Ontario Ice Fishing Adventure!

Editor's Note: Entrepreneur, model, cast member of Sweet Home Alabama on CMT, veterinary technician, account representative for Krugerfarms.com and Miss Sprint Cup, Paige Duke has seemingly done it all in her relatively short time in the public eye. One of the things that Paige is best known for is her love of the outdoors — especially hunting and fishing. Read on and enjoy Paige tell in her own words, the incredible fun she had while ice fishing for walleye and pike in beautiful Ontario's Sunset Country. And don't miss Paige's video at the bottom of this article.

I wanted to share with y'all my experience from last spring, when I went to Ontario's Sunset Country on a fishing trip. I'm always eager to try new hunting and fishing adventures so I was excited to see what Canada had to offer—it didn't disappoint! We started the weekend with some 70,000 lakes in Sunset Country. I was immediately impressed by the weather because we were safely walking around on the ice and cutting holes for our lines, but it was warm enough that I didn't have to bundle up in layers upon layers.

We were plenty cozy in just a light jacket and hooded sweatshirts, looking for some big fish on the ice. Ice fishing was really exciting, because we never knew what we were going to catch! There are so many different fish in these waters, so even though we were fishing for walleyes, our lines caught huge pike, some crappies and lake trout, and, as hoped, giant walleyes!

While we were on the ice, I thought about how blessed I was to have a chance to take in such beautiful scenery. The woods and lake were so majestic and the wildlife was definitely a change from South Carolina! One of my friends mentioned that he had seen a few wolves in the area—but while we kept our eyes peeled, unfortunately, we never caught a glimpse of one. However, we did get to see an eagle fly overhead and quite a few smaller animals like fox and ruffed grouse.

Walleye Fishing on Ontario lakes - ice fishingThe author with a beautiful Sunset Country walleye!

One wonderful aspect of fishing on the lake was that we caught our own dinner. Y'all know I'm passionate about eating what I hunt or catch, so any chance to embrace this field-to-plate method is great. My friend, Gussy, prepared some of the walleye and pike we caught and cooked it in a turkey fryer next to the lake. It was great to smell the fresh fish and fresh-cut potatoes frying in the crisp air of Sunset Country. There is something amazing about eating a meal that was created within an hour from leaving the lake and you can really taste the difference—it was delicious!

During the next day, we were able to do a little shed hunting. I had no clue how much fun shed hunting was; some hunters will even train their dogs to help them find sheds. Some people look forward to it as much as hunting, and Sunset Country definitely has giant moose and White Tail antlers to find. There's a definite sport to it y'all! You can cross quite a few miles by foot, or by quad looking for sheds. They're great for collecting, and I've seen fun and crafty home décor projects that they can be used for! We also took some time to go on the Rainy River for some open water fishing. I thought it was wonderful that we could be ice fishing one day and open water fishing the next—it's like two different worlds. I had expected March in Sunset Country to be a bit more frozen, so fishing on the open water was a welcome opportunity. We caught some great fish—including quite a few over eight pounds!

While I came up during the winter, I want everyone to know just how great the summer fishing is in Ontario's Sunset Country. Between May and September, the air is warm and the fishing is hot! The scenery of these Canadian Shield lakes is also awe-inspiring, to the point that it will take your breath away! The images below show exactly how beautiful it is here during the summer!

 

Nature and the Outdoors in OntarioThe summers are even more beautiful in Ontario's Sunset Country!

What impressed me most about the trip were the people I met in Kenora, Ontario. Everyone was so friendly and laid back. Any place we stopped welcomed us with open arms—it turns out "southern charm" isn't just something mama taught me, because the Canadians were just as sweet. They were eager to tell me about their love of the outdoors and really embraced the opportunities that Sunset Country has to offer like camping and fishing. After meeting so many people, and making some great new friends, I can't wait to make plans to come back again in the summer or fall. I might try a fly-in trip where I get a chance to fish on a remote lake that has very few people and so many fish to catch, or else a canoe trip back in time, in Quetico Park, and retrace the steps of fur traders. Y'all know I love to embrace these outdoor activities, so I can't wait to return to Ontario's beautiful Sunset Country.

Ontario's Sunset Country from the AirOntario's Sunset Country from the Air

Interested in experiencing Paige's adventure for yourself? Curious to learn more about Sunset Country? Click here to obtain a free guide listing all the outfitters.

Here's a video of my adventure so you can see exactly how fun it is:

 

Vist Sunset Country
In Sunset Country, you'll find the best fishing in the world.

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