Late-Ice Madness in Saskatchewan

SK Justin just sent us a late-ice report from Canada.  We may be well into Spring in the Midwest, but ice remains yet in the Northlands.  Justin's fantastic catches are made even better by his great photography and video work - click "Read More" to see his full report, with lots of photos and video.


Well, I've officially been off of the hard stuff for two weeks now.

For the most part, this late ice season was much the same as every other. I spent the last couple weeks of March targeting pike with tip-ups and jigging for suckers. I was a bit disappointed overall with the pike fishing this year. We got into a few decent ones in the first couple of trips, and then the action slowed down towards the end of March.

41 inches.

40 inches

40 inches

The biggest surprise this year was catching my first channel catfish through the ice... my first two actually. They were messing with our tip-ups that we had set with large deadbaits for pike. The catfish were determined and kept coming back and hitting the baits multiple times. I managed to hook the first one on its fourth attempt at a giant slab of tullibee on a quickstrike. The second on took a jig tipped with a slice of tullibee.

32 inches on tip-up.

On a jigging rod

This is the 5th season that I've been targeting suckers through the ice, and the best I've had. They were really on this year. I experimented with several different baits and jigs and found good success with small power grubs and tube jigs, in addition to the usual panfish jig with nightcrawler or mealworm.

PB tullibee at 19 inches - caught while targeting suckers.

I recorded some video this year. Most of the days were very windy, so not even the scream of our drags could be heard over the wind.

The river was opening up considerably as we were fishing on the last day, and we had to keep an eye on the holes we were fishing as the bottom edge of the ice was thinning significantly from the increasing current. By evening, suckers were surfacing in the open water.

Lastly, a couple of lake trout in April to end the season.



Species List:


andy's picture

Great report. Can't wait to see what you ice this year, Justin!