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Author Topic: Ice fishing on Rainy Lake  (Read 7093 times)

Offline Kaifus

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Ice fishing on Rainy Lake
« on: April 12, 2013, 11:33:28 pm »
Here are some pictures of a two night Rainy Lake ice fishing trip I made the weekend before Easter.  The fishing wasn't great but I caught two Northern and two Walleye, one of which I cooked up on my woodstove which tasted just awesome. I had really hoped to catch Whitefish and try smoking them but that didn't happen.

Day 1
Drove out on the ice road which saved me alot of skiing.

Pitched camp on the edge of a small island after having been fishing part of the day. Caught one pretty nice sized Northern.

Day 2
Morning dawned sunny with no wind.


Had my own little island...

and had fried Walleye for supper. :)

Day 3
Fished in the morning, caught this Northern...

broke camp around midday...

and had easy skiing back to the ice road and my vehicle.



Beautiful rugged country.


Here's a map of where I was.

The scissor points towards the tiny island I camped on and the reef I fished around.  It took me a while to find the reef and I caught the Northern and Walleye in shallower water, maybe around twelve to forty feet deep.  I had hooked something down deep, probably 70 feet, right on bottom and I'm thinking that was a Whitefish but I only got him half way up before he was lost, and never had another bite in deep water.


Ravinerat and others, judging by the map would you say that that should have been good for Whitefish in the deep water right by the reef, or would there have been better places to try?

My fishing setup was basically what Ravinerat recommend to me for Whitefish and Lake Trout, which was 12 pound mono line tied to a swivel then three feet of 8 pound flourocarbon leader tied to lure and tipped with minnow head.


I tried different lures, Swedish Pimples and whatnot but had all the luck with the plastic white tube jig. Any chance the ones I have are too big for Whitefish? I think they have pretty small mouths.

Thanks for any more fishing advice you can give me.

Offline customknife

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Re: Ice fishing on Rainy Lake
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2013, 10:53:59 am »
It was great seeing a map in your post.  I know that there is some sensitivity to precise locations, but seeing maps of the general area on these trip reports adds texture to the story.  Plus, for some reason I like maps!  Thanks for the post.  Cheers.

Offline HOOP

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Re: Ice fishing on Rainy Lake
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2013, 02:11:51 pm »
Hey Kaifus, looks like a great trip!  Nice to have an island and wood supply to yourself.

RE fluorocarbon leader:  what is the purpose of the fluorocarbon, as opposed to just any type of mono leader?
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"I firmly believe that far from hurting the planet, the growing knowledge of Bushcraft is helping our natural world. When we employ bushcraft skills, it may seem as though we are consuming natural resources.  But of course, the more we learn about the trees, the plants, the animals around us, the more we respect them. The more we respect them, the more we cherish them, the more we nurture and take care of them. That is the underlying principle of Bushcraft.

Offline Kaifus

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Re: Ice fishing on Rainy Lake
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2013, 05:41:29 pm »
Thanks Customknife and HOOP. I did like that little island and I was thankful that it provided all the dry wood I needed.

HOOP I believe the mono / flourocarbon line combination is used for the invisibility of fluorocarbon and the stretch of monofilament. While I said that was what Ravinerat recommended, I think he simply stated that that was what he used so I used the same.

Offline atisnow

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Re: Ice fishing on Rainy Lake
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2013, 06:52:04 pm »
The usual reasons for using flourocarbon are, as you mentioned, because its less visible and also because its more abrasion resistant than mono meaning you can often get away without using a wire leader when there are toothy critters like pike around.

Whitefish seem to be one of the most frustrating fish to catch consistently. Some lakes such as Simcoe, Superior, Temagami, etc have had great whitefish angling for years while other lakes can have just as many whitefish but they seem to be almost impossible to catch consistently. Some of it may depend on their forage - they seem to be somewhat easier to catch with regularity in lakes where they feed primarily on fish. There have been lakes where smelt have appeared and people have started catching whitefish more often. Smelt have shown up in Rainy over the past couple of decades but it is my understanding that they are more common in the North Arm of the lake.

Offline Kaifus

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Re: Ice fishing on Rainy Lake
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2013, 10:22:54 am »
Thanks for your reply Atisnow. I'll keep what you said in mind about the feeding habits of whitefish and next year try to find a better location or lake. I'd like to remain in US waters just to save the cost of another liscense but maybe Lake of the Woods. I am hoping to go back to Rainy right before freeze-up during the gill net season for Whitefish and try that so if that works out I might be good for Whitefish.

Offline into the wind

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Re: Ice fishing on Rainy Lake
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2013, 10:54:48 am »
Kaifus, netting whitefish is a great way to get some fish in the freezer. I do it every year on Vermilion. Whitefish are great to smoke, and are very good fried or baked. Just take off the layer of red fat right under the skin when you clean them. It can impart a strong flavor after being frozen for a while. Good luck.

Offline Kaifus

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Re: Ice fishing on Rainy Lake
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2013, 12:02:36 pm »
Good to know, Into the Wind. I had never heard of netting for whitefish until I was driving out of the ice road on Rainy and somebody who was fishing nearby walked over and talked to me and mentioned gill netting them before freeze-up. That sounded totally illegal to me but I checked once I got home and sure enough there is a season for that and at a good time of year for me.

Can you net them any time during the four or five week season or do you need to time it just right with their spawning?

Offline into the wind

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Re: Ice fishing on Rainy Lake
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2013, 08:41:16 pm »
Timing for the netting all depends on the year. Usually the first week or so is slow. It's gets better the colder it gets.

Offline fisherman

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Re: Ice fishing on Rainy Lake
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2013, 06:28:34 pm »
great pics Kaifus and congrats on some nice fish.
hope your able to tie into some whities nxt season.

Offline LodgePole

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Re: Ice fishing on Rainy Lake
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2013, 07:31:33 pm »
How in the world do set a gill net under the ice?

Great pics, Almost scary how much sky there is.

Offline HOOP

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Re: Ice fishing on Rainy Lake
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2013, 07:57:25 pm »
How in the world do set a gill net under the ice?

There are various ways.  There are floating tools called creepers or jiggers I think, which have a claw which claws its way along underneath the ice with a rope pulling doo dad of some sort.    I don't know how its retreived, or if it has to hit the next hole to be pulled through.

Another old fashioned way I have seen done on videos a few times is to cut two holes, and then send a wooden pole with a line attached under the ice, and buddy at the other hole retrieves it.  One uses a stick through the first hole to flick the pole under the ice.  The longer the net, the more holes you cut, resending the pole along.   I can imagine it might take some practice to get good at hitting the next hole.   But its been done for centuries.  :)

Try searching for it in Youtube and I bet you will find several videos.
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"I firmly believe that far from hurting the planet, the growing knowledge of Bushcraft is helping our natural world. When we employ bushcraft skills, it may seem as though we are consuming natural resources.  But of course, the more we learn about the trees, the plants, the animals around us, the more we respect them. The more we respect them, the more we cherish them, the more we nurture and take care of them. That is the underlying principle of Bushcraft.

Offline Kaifus

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Re: Ice fishing on Rainy Lake
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2013, 11:26:05 pm »
Thanks Fisherman and LodgePole.  Yep I hope to catch some whitefish one way or another next year, but not by under-ice gill netting as that probably pretty illegal for me.

Offline LodgePole

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Re: Ice fishing on Rainy Lake
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2013, 07:50:26 pm »
I will have to check this moving a net under ice out.. I have never ice fished. people do, and when they do I go up high. Like i said that sky is scary.... Up high it is too.  ;D

Offline ravinerat

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Re: Ice fishing on Rainy Lake
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2013, 07:19:39 pm »
Great post and the guys seem to have everything covered. Not only is the floro clear and stronger it is thiner. So a 12 lb floro leader may be as thick as a 6 lb mono. All about invisibility.  Those tubes aren't too big. We use 3" ones. You figure these guys eat Herring over 12" long. Sometimes the bigger the bait the bigger the fish.

I think you had a whitie on for sure. Next time lift your rod above your head to keep tension on then you can slow things down.

If I wasn't marking or getting hits where your pen is located I would move out to the 112 fow. Here on Simcoe they seem to like the flats. Over the 100 fow for consistant catches. Some times they cruise at one depth and feed at another. We have caught them in all depths but depends on weather, barametric pressure and all that stuff I pretend to understand.  We do catch them by the shoals but that seems to be more laker territory.  Good electronics make a huge difference.

Laker and Whitie open back up here next weekend.

Nets under the ice. Well I never understood how the Frist Nations people did it till I saw it done on the APTN channel. Truly remarkable. So lets say ten holes ten feet apart. Lower the net down one hole. Put a large curved stick down the next hole and pullit it up moving it from hole to hole.

RR
« Last Edit: April 27, 2013, 07:22:54 pm by ravinerat »
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