A note of appreciation goes out to our friend ‘Maple’ for sharing the details (& photos) of what surely was an incredible day of ice-fishing on the Bay of Quinte – North America’s walleye Mecca!
The only sad part was, he was kind enough to invite me on this trip and I honestly did not have the time…doooh!!
“I went to the Bay of Quinte yesterday with 3 other guys. I got up at 1:30 AM to pick them up on the way. Back home at 11:00 PM.
We arrived at 6:00 to meet the guide. We all had our own gear (shelter, flasher, rods and tackle). The guide supplied the minnows and direction. He set us up on contour just some 200 yards from where I’ve fished on my own!! (So much for the guide-cost you might think but we’re talking pin-point structure fishing here).
Before dawn we started fishing and catching. My first fish was a 10 pound beauty, pic attached. She went back down the hole. I didn’t catch another eye until dusk, although we (they) caught fish sporadically throughout the day. The perch were keeping me busy though, and I lost a couple good fish.
The second pic(below) is a 12 pounder easy. 30.5″ long and 18″ girth. Back down the hole for her too. Unless you want to mount one, which is common for BOQ walleye, they’re usually released. Your choice. The 2 to 4 pound ‘eaters’ are what you keep.
The best bite, as usual, was in the evening, but by then the newbies had used up all the minnows and we were reduced to using dead bits and pieces on the treble jig hooks. With the flashers you can detect the presence of a fish when it approached the jig, but that’s only half the game. Sometimes it takes 5 minutes to entice them to bite, with you watching their reaction to your lure’s teasing wiggles. Sometimes they just move off. Sometimes you just don’t have what they want.
By the end of the day we landed and released 5 fish over 10 pounds, kept 9 or so between 1 1/2 and 3 pounds, and lost lots more at the hole. Exciting even that was!! To see a big fish just under the clear ice, twisting and shaking, and you trying to get it’s head up the hole, and then it breaks free and there’s nothing you can do about it but watch it swim back down…..and curse….. I need a video of that.
I’d call it a “good” day for me on the BOQ. Sometimes I catch nothing. This was much better than that. To catch, or even see caught, a single fish of the calibre is a real treat, and keeps me coming back. There seems to be a couple more trips in the planning stages with some hardcore fishers. I’ll keep you posted.”
Thanks again to Maple for sharing his great story and for the invite. Next time I plan to take him up on his offer!