First Ice Walleye in Early December!


Our loyal readers know all too well what the winter season brings out in the Exploring Alberta Team.  That’s Right! The preoccupation, nay … dare we admit … crazy-ass-obsession with ice fishing for walleye on the hardwater!!  Well folks the cycle repeats!

We watched intently for what seemed like decades as the cold weather enveloped  our usual fishing spots east of Calgary.  We knew it was only a matter of time before the first ice started but we couldn’t believe that it was the beginning of December when our buddy  Nate reached out to us.  He had been jonesing to fish and thought that there could be safe ice at a spot where he had fished early ice in previous years.  “Could be” was good enough for us to pack up the gear and we were on our way.

We headed deep into Vulcan County towards Travers Reservoir.  The Travers Dam was built in 1954 and impounds the Little Bow River as part of the expansive irrigation system in the southern part of the province.  All we knew is that the reservoir was known to have a healthy fishery with Burbot, Whitefish, Yellow Perch, Northern Pike (boo pike) and of course Walleye.

We found Nate hunkered down on his sled with a few tightly spaced holes on either side of him!  Smiling he said the ice was a safe 3″ where he drilled but advised us not to set up in front of him as he pointed.  Turning to look we saw two boats fishing a small pocket of open within sight of where we were.  Crazy is as crazy does so we drilled a few holes cautiously behind him.  We too found safe ice and managed to set up in 9′ of water and started jigging.  Fish showed themselves on the electronics regularly and Sil was quick to get on the board for Exploring Alberta with two respectable walleye and a beautiful whitefish that hit a 3/4 oz, gold Northland Buckshot Spoon.

Nate (affectionately known as the Walleye Whisperer) had iced a couple walleye before our arrival and his success continued .  We strongly believe that his lucky Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle “signature” tuque influenced his catch rate!

The bright and clear morning changed in the early afternoon to snow flurries but that didn’t damper our spirits nor did it seem slow down the steady stream of fish to our holes.


We all managed to catch quite a few walleye, and even a burbot was tricked into eating a fluorescent orange, Northland Buckshot Flutter Spoon.   The biggest of the day went to Sil when she landed a beautiful Walleye on her all time favourite…. a gold PK spoon.

Thank you to Nate for finding us our “first ice” of the hardwater season.  We can’t wait to get out again!!



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