ICE FISHING AT KASHAGA LODGE:
2016 ICE FISHING ON LAKE KASHAGAWIGAMOG:
JAN. 12, 2016 ICE UPDATE:
Here's a photo taken from the deck of the lodge building on Jan 6 2016. The guy out on the lake is fishing on 5 inches of ice. Although this was prime walleye time, the afternoon bite at sundown, he only marked fish with his Lowrence flasher, but the walleye could not be coaxed onto the hook. Nonetheless, if you look closely, you'll see a big smile on his face just being out on the ice for his first hardwater fix of 2016.
The photo to the right was taken Jan 12. The operator tried to help a few locals by lending them his Marcum flasher. But he had to get back to preparing for the Jan 15 weekend by getting the huts ready to place on the walleye structure.
JAN. 15, HUTS OUT !!!
The huts are out, and we had a winner of our "First Perch" gift certificate by 9 am Friday morning. Steve and the boys overslept a bit, perhaps related to over-indulging a bit on Thursday night in the 6-bedroom cottage. Nonetheless, Steve was quickly rewarded for dragging his arse out of bed before noon by enticing the weekend's first perch onto the ice before half his crew realized that the sun had already been up for several hours.
JAN. 22 WEEKEND
Normally by late January, Lake Kashagawigamog is covered with at least a foot and a half of ice, and we've been iceing walleye since mid December. The winter of 2016 has been extraordinarily unkind to Ontario's ice fishing enthusiasts. Ontario's most popular walleye fisheries such as Lake Nippissing and Bay of Quinte, which are much larger bodies of water, are way behind schedule. And Southern Ontario's favourite perch factory, Lake Simcoe, isn't much better off.
This weekend, we finally had a winner of our "First Walleye" gift certificate.
The 21 incher to the left was iced in his own portable by Sonny during the evening bite of Sat Jan. 23. As we encourage all conservation-minded sportsmen to do, he returned his catch to the lake to help sustain this prized species for the future of Ontario sportfishing.
He also qualified for the weekend's "First Walleye" $50 gift certificate offered by OUTDOORS PLUS the nearby bait and tackle shop. But he generously deferred his award to ANDREW, of 'HALIBURTON HARDWATER WALLEYE,' the new full-time Kashaga Lodge hut operator and guide."
The walleye ice fishing season is open until March 15 on Lake Kashagawigamog. And be aware that the pickerel bite tends to get stronger towards the end of the hardwater season prior to the April spawning run.
Although the couple to the left only iced perch this day, they seemed to be enjoying the March weather out on the ice nonetheless. (I'm not sure if they even had lines in the water half the time.)
And there is still accommodation and hut availability for the weekends of March 5 and March 12. Also, be aware that we move our huts to the perch structure after that for ANOTHER TWO WEEKENDS of hardwater fun before the huts have to be off the ice at the end of March.
RECAP OF 2015 HARDWATER SEASON
As is typical, Lake Kashagawigamog's Kashaga Bay had started to freeze over by the end of the first week of December 2014. Before the Christmas thaw and rain, we were augering holes in up to 8 inches of ice, but even with the unfavourable conditions for making ice that lasted almost a week, the huts were out on a minimum of 8 inches on New Years Day, set up and ready for the season's first wave of hardwater junkies.
The weekend of January 2 was brutally cold, so the heated huts got lots of use. Although the operator augered at least as many holes outside the huts as inside, very few soles were hardy enough to venture outside. By the end of the Saturday evening bite, a total of 5 walleye, one lake trout, one herring, and about 50 perch had been brought into the huts over the previous 36 hours.
In the pictures to the right, that's Steve proudly holding up his 22 incher, and his 31 1/2 incher. Both were caught within 150 yards of his lakeside cottage. Matt, in the floater suit, doesn't believe in huts. He stalked this 26 incher with his Vexilar all over the sunken island before hooking up with it in 23 fow.
The weekend of Jan 9, 2015 saw no pickerel on the ice. One group rented the operator's Marcum, and although they marked plenty, and had a few good hits, for the most part, they were just sniffing the minnow and moving on. Fortunately there were the usual schools of perch under the huts to keep the guys awake. The usual 50 or so perch were iced.
Over the weekend of Jan 16, Kashaga Lodge hosted three groups of very pleasant ice fishermen. Kevin's group and Doug's group reserved their drinking for after the day's fishing, whereas Ryan's group fished the huts closest to their cottage (within easy staggering distance of their refrigerator.)
Although Ryan's group clearly enjoyed the weekend, the guys who more or less behaved themselves, got to enjoy a classic "shore lunch" in their cottage before heading home Sunday.
Kevin, in the photo at left, knows that walleye are not in the habit of searching out a hut in order to feed. His group of 5 hardwater addicts moved around, augering their own holes, and scoping out different structure with their sonar.
Doug's group of 3 was more than happy to enjoy the comfort of heir heated huts, and managed to ice enough perch that they got to savour that oh-so-sweet taste for Saturday dinner in the cottage before settling in to watch the Leafs get blown out (AGAIN.)
Kashaga Lodge welcomed two very large groups to Haliburton's Lake Kashagawigamog on Thursday night, January 22, 2015.
The Price clan consisted of three families who came very-well equipped to seek out Lake Kashagawigamog's clever walleye under the ice. After warming up their taste buds with a dinner of fresh perch on Friday evening, a bunch of them went out to try the night bite (in spite of the operator's advice that the walleye are asleep soon after dark.) That's Mitch in the picture at right holding his 30 inch walleye in the hut at 11:30 pm Friday night. Forunately he had Nate with him in the hut who was willing to stick his hand down the hole (full of teeth) to get this guy on the ice. Congratulations to both of them!!
Moral: Don't pay any attention to the operator. (Also, if you want to catch pickerel through the ice, it helps to bring your wife and family along to help you stay sober enough to feel a bite.)
The other group consisted of 13 hockey players who chose to come back to Haliburton even though the Canadian Pond Hockey Championships that they had participated in for 10 years moved back to Huntsville after 3 years on Head Lake in Haliburton. They were definitely not disappointed, as weather conditions prior to the weekend were ideal for preparation of an awesome rink on the lake right beside their cottage. And the best part; they still had some coin left in their pockets by virtue of not getting fleeced by Deerhurst's ridiculous rates. And better still, they had their own kitchen and dining table, and were only 3 minutes from a Tim Hortons, a grocery store, and the Beer Store.
Fortunately, the Leafs were on All-Star break, so they didn't have to endure watching another Leaf loss on their 42" TV on Saturday night.
The first picture at left is of Andrew, Kashaga's faithful hut operator out on the ice at 6:30 in the morning at -25 degrees C, flooding the rink, and the second one is of thirteen serious hockey buddies playing their sport "the Canadian way."
Over the weekend of Jan 30, the lodge hosted only 18 guests, all of whom came to Lake Kashagawigamog to hunt the elusive hardwater walleye. Only two of the guests were women, but between the two of them, they iced probably almost as many fish as all the guys put together, and more importantly, Kelly landed this lovely 22 inch walleye in the picture at right. Although Kelly is an advocator of "catch and release," (as we should all be,) this poor guy lost his life to the struggle. Out of compassion for Alex`s group of 8 somewhat less "skilled" (and MUCH less sober) anglers in a neaby hut, Kelly made their day by offering them her catch.
Since Alex's group was largely comprised of distinguished politicians from the Hamilton area, they're much more adept at fishing for votes than for walleye. Ironically, these guys came to their 6-bedroom cottage with enough food to feed everybody on the property for the entire weekend. Hey Alex, thanks for the leftovers. Neither the owner's nor the operator's families will have to grocery shop for the next week!
To be sure, unlike most species, the feeding patterns of the wiley walleye are somewhat 'unpredictable.' But most would agree that there are four general constants associated with their strongest feeding urges: SUN-UP, SUNDOWN, FIRST ICE, and LAST ICE
During the hardwater season, Haliburton County offers arguably the best ice fishing in Central Ontario for most species of fish. Mr. WALLEYE is perhaps the most sought-after game fish in Ontario, and Lake Kashagawigamog possesses the largest walleye population in the County. And Kashaga Lodge Cottages is located right at the north end of this lake just a short ice-walk from some of the best walleye fishing in Central Ontario. The resort situates 8 huts at various locations nearby according to time of season and apparent feeding patterns.
2016 ICE FISHING ON LAKE KASHAGAWIGAMOG: