The arctic blast of cold weather really settled in for our last day of ice fishing for Northern Pike. Fishing at these temperatures always poses a bit of a challenge with the speed at which holes freeze, hands freeze and fish freeze. The extreme cold also seemed to push the fish off the shallower weedy flats we usually find them cruising in the winter. After moving out to a main lake point adjacent to a large mid depth flat we finally hooked up with a decent pike. Out in 20 to 30 feet of water we marked plenty of fish that just had no interest in chewing what we had to offer at all. While this was a slow day with only three flags we managed to hook and land every fish. This does not happen every day, so I consider ourselves lucky. Espescially on this lake. Pinehurst lake in Alberta is notorious for being a tough lake to ice fish and during a cold snap they can have a serious case of lock jaw. Now that pike and walleye are closed to retention I suspect we may see an increase in pike size. The walleye may be a bit on the skinny size, but the big pike still seem to be finding enough food and always have a nice fat belly. I think this lake woud best be suited for a slot limit of both walleye and pike. There are plenty of fish and apparently elevated mercury levels anyways. So why keep the big fish. Let the go and let them grow. Let the people keep some of the smaller fish to retain some of the forage in the lake to allow those big fish to put on some serious weight in a protected environment. That’s only my oppinion though and I’m sure many of you have different ideas of how things should run. I just know that when Pinehurst was wide open for Pike and walleye we were still catching lots of fish with some serious girth on them. Maybe one of these days the fisheries department of Alberta will start managing for qualitity fisheries rather than an ethereal number of fish per lake. Our lakes cannot be managed for catch rates as we see what has happened, every other fish in the lake suffers to allow walleye the space to dominate in numbers.
In the next video as we leave the ice I’ll explain my little rant on Alberta fisheries. Not that I am an expert in fish biology or anything like that. I’m just a fisherman with a lot of population experience fishing numerous lakes over the last 20+ years and witnessed first hand how the closures have affected both size and diversity of species. Let me tell you the only lakes that still have big fish and good species diversity were the lakes that they left open for walleye retention. You think they would realize that. Speak your mind, complete the surveys. There is more to life than catching FIFTY, 2 pound walleye in a day on the water.
Let’s make Alberta Great Again! Open Walleye Retention across the province… they can restrict it however they want, but I would like to see the populations reduced significantly!
Tell me what you think.
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