One more time! Just when we think the ice fishing season is over, we remember we live in Alberta! It is March and there is still 3 feet of ice on the lake… in most places. A large ice heave at the boat launch and patches of surface water provided a stern warning against driving out onto the ice for this excursion. With sleds and gear in tow, we ventured off the shore. The brilliantly sunny day polished the ice surface making it a beautiful turquoise ice rink. Those with cleats on their boots had no problem getting around but the rest of us fumbled around like Bambi on ice!
For the better part of the day the sunshine and cloudless sky kept sunglasses on and jackets off. The fish cooperated sporadically. A few whitefish and walleye were landed by each of us. The true highlight (for some of us) was the hooking and landing of a BIG burbot! Usually dark in colour, this burbot or Lota lota (for the ichthyology nuts) came through the hole dazzling us with a golden brown hue contrasted with dark mottling.
The sun and warm water caused the ice to change dramatically by late afternoon with increasing surface water, pitting and slush growing as the day wore on. On the positive side, the increase in slush made the walk back much more manageable. Looking down the drilled holes, there was no doubt the ice thinned by about a foot by the time we packed up. Guess this means the ice fishing season is officially over for us.