A NOTICE TO ALL SPRING FISHERMEN:
The MNR has cancelled our spring fishing opportunities for most species, effective March 15 through the 3rd Saturday in May (i.e. the two-four weekend). This new law will do absolutely nothing to protect the spawning size females of all species; it only stops people from fishing for them for a couple months but come spring, it's open seasons on them again. As a lodge owner, this takes a big bite out of the income that is derived from late winter and early spring fishing. As a sport fisherman, it stops your enjoyment of the sport when the blackflies and mosquitoes haven't began yet. Your annual fishing license should be just that ... a license to allow you to fish ALL YEAR.
There are also major changes to the fishing zones across the province. Seasons have also changed. Slot sizes on some species have also changed. READ AND UNDERSTAND these regulations before going fishing!
Full details can be obtained in the annual fishing regulation booklet available from authorized license outlets (but not from the MNR offices; it's not their job offering this info any longer) or at the following site: http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/envregistry/027028ex.htm . I URGE EVERYONE TO VOICE THEIR OBJECTIONS TO THIS REGULATION.
Possible alternatives could include:
reduction in our daily limit (3 to 2 fish, for lake trout),
slot size changes (release the spawners, all species),
reduce the number of lines for winter fishing from 2 to 1,
total ban on gorge style hooks (to allow for live release of some fish)
Contact (in writing) your MPP (if you are an Ontario resident) as well as the current Minister of Natural Resources. Encourage your families, co-workers and friends to submit a letter. You do not have to be a resident of Ontario to object to this regulation. The future of fishing is in everyone's hands!
UPDATE: Further information will be posted here as I receive it.
Ice fishing is still a popular winter activity at Northland Paradise Lodge. Lakes are usually frozen to a sufficient and safe thickness by mid December to allow pedestrian access on area lakes. Heated huts are then put on the lakes by Christmas. Please inquire about early season ice fishing conditions. Whitefish and ling (barbot) are in season all year. Northerns and walleye are open from now through to March 15 and are then closed until the May 24 weekend. Smallmouth bass are open until December 31 every year. A much reduced winter lake trout season is only open from February 15 through March 15. Depending on the year’s spring thaw and breakup, our baited huts are maintained through to the end of March for whitefish and ling.
Our spacious 6' X 8' insulated huts with 4 drilled 10” holes are situated approximately 100 yards/meters in front of the lodge in 20 to 25 feet of water, are propane heated and have padded seats as well as plenty of windows for natural light. Candles are supplied for night fishing. Tackle and tip-ups can be purchased in our gift shop while live bait is also available. A smoker is available for a nominal charge to give your day’s catch “that little something extra”.
From time to time, some of our guests are looking to either buy or sell fishing tackle and related items. When this happens, I try to help them with this by posting a note and picture on this website on the Items For Sale page which can be accessed from the top of this page. If you, or anyone you know, are interested in buying these items, please look here first.
Check-in times for weekly packages are after 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays and check-out times are before 11:00 a.m. on the following Saturdays. For overnight packages, the same times apply for each day. Please inquire about any variations that can be made to these time schedules.
Responsible use of alcoholic beverages is allowed on lodge property. However, we are not a licensed outlet for the sale of these beverages
Pets are always welcome.
Have you ever caught a tagged fish?
Occasionally, fishermen will catch a fish (usually a walleye in Temagami area lakes) that has a stainless steel jaw tag in its bottom lip. The first question that is usually asked is "Am I allowed to keep it?" That depends on the size of the fish; if it is in the slot size, then the answer is unquestionably "NO". However, if it is not a slotted fish, then you can legally keep it. Before you toss it into the live well or onto your stringer, please think of the reasons that this fish has been tagged in the first place. Whether it is a male or female walleye, it was caught in a trap net in a creek or river that is known to be used as a spawning area in the spring of the year. These nets are the property of the MNR and have been placed there by volunteers from the local Temagami and Area Fish Involvement Program (TAFIP) which collects the spawn and raises young walleye to be placed back in a number of different area lakes and to assist Nature in keeping a healthy population of fish for anglers to harvest in future years. This particular fish was stripped of some of its roe or sperm and then both the weights and measurements were recorded before being tagged and then released back into the lake. MNR supplied TAFIP with the tags. The jaw tag has a 6- or 7-digit number on it that identifies this fish and the year that it was tagged. If you do decide to keep it, please return the tag to TAFIP in Temagami so they can update their data on it. It is also requested that you report the length and weight of the fish as well as the date and name of the lake on which it was caught. If you'd like to keep the tag as a souvenir, that's also allowed but please forward on the info described above as well as the tag number.
The other option would be to weigh and measure the fish, record the tag number for TAFIP (705-569-3240) and then release it back into the lake. This will tell TAFIP how much that fish has grown since it was tagged. If it is caught again at a later date (possibly years from now) and the info is recorded again, it would greatly add to the knowledge base on the health and sustainability of the species in that particular lake. At the present time, only walleye in Lake Temagami and the Cassels-Rabbit lake system have been tagged.
The odds of catching a tagged fish are about the same as winning a lottery. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of fish that use a spawning area every year. A small percentage of these are caught in the trap nets. Of these fish, even a smaller percentage are ever tagged. As a volunteer with TAFIP, I helped tag about 30 or 40 fish in both lakes in 2009. To give us a good cross-section of all the fish in the lakes, both males and females were tagged and the weights ranged from less than a pound (a male) to one female that tipped the scales at just under 7 pounds. Needless to say, we had much bigger fish in the 10 to 12 pound range that we chose not to tag. The reason that these large fish were not tagged is because we are more interested in how fast they grow and younger ones will grow a lot faster than these older fish.
So ... enjoy your fishing opportunities and perhaps you just might catch a tagged fish. Recording the info and then returning it to the lake (after all the pictures are taken) will assist in proper management plans for a sustainable fishery not just for you to enjoy but for your children and grandchildren to enjoy for years to come. As for the walleye pictured above, it was a 17 inch, 2-pound male that was tagged and released back into Lake Temagami in 2009.
A weekly ice fishing report will be posted here to assist our guests in their plans for one of winter's most pleasurable activities. Ice depths, slush conditions, what's biting best, favorite lures/bait rigs and anything else associated with this sport (as it is reported to me) will be listed here.
All of this information should only be viewed as a guideline and should never be misinterpreted as cold hard facts in any sense of legal obligations. Absolutely no liability will be associated with this and all users assume all responsibility and consequences resulting from their own actions taken from this information.
Friday, April 7, 2017. I had the huts off the lake last weekend as is required by the MNR but fishing is still good with solid shoreline access for another few days. By next week, it could be too soft so it's time to call it quits for another season. It was a slow start for catches of all species but half way through the season, things really picked up and this has held right through this past week. This was one of the best winters for whitefish that we have seen in years. Catches of trout and walleye were average but the pike were slower than normal. Thanks to everyone for the good times, memories relived from years past and especially to the new guests we've met. We look forward to seeing all of you again next year.
Friday, March 24, 2017. We're still fishing. Lakes are solid right from the shoreline out but watch the mouths of creeks and rivers as water is starting to run due to melts. Trucks are driving everywhere on the ice. We got 3 inches of new snow last night so sledding is good for whitefish and getting into stocked trout lakes. All other species are now closed. I've still got the 2 huts out but will be bringing them in before the end of the month.
Monday, March 13, 2017. It was another great weekend for our guests with whitefish repeating as the predominant species being caught. One group of guys came back this weekend and again only targeted them and tossed back the walleye and lakers that they caught. Over 3 days, they kept 38 and noted that they probably released more than that number of everything else they put on the ice. I was curuious as to how they were catching that many fish so they showed me their "magic" lure. It wasn't anything that I would ever have used myself. There must be a name associated with it but I will describe it as a small, heavy body bait with the line attached in the midddle and single hooks on both ends of it that point upwards. The tail end of it had plastic "wings" (similar to the tail fins on a plane) pointing downwards in an upsidedown "v". It was blue on the top and white on the bottom. Most people have one of these in their tackle box that is 2 to 3 inches long but this one was only an inch long. They didn't jig it to make it go around in huge circles; instead they just twitched it every few seconds and it worked surprisingly well for them. You can see pics of their catch from 2 weeks ago if you scroll down to Feb. 26/17. Remember that all species except whitefish closes next Sunday night but these guys didn't care about that; they said they'd keep returning as long as the ice was good to walk on.
Friday, March 3, 2017. Great fishing opportunities continued through this past week with lots of whitefish still being caught. Trout and walleye were slower than what everybody had hoped for but a few were put on the ice. Wednesday's horendous snow storm kept everyone off the lakes but the results were a lot of fresh new snow to bank up around the huts after the previous week's meltdown. There's still over 2 more weeks of fishing left before all species except whitefish closes for another year at dark on Sunday, March 19.
Sunday, February 26, 2017.
As you can see by the number of whitefish that Mark caught one afternoon, we have had a significant improvement in the number of catches during the past week of fishing. Whitefish have remained as the predominant species being caught but lake trout were a close second and there were good catches of walleye also. Sadly, there weren't any pike this week. Like most of the province, we had another major meltdown with temperatures well above freezing for both days and nights accompanied with lots of rain but now it is much colder this morning and the surface slush has stiffened up. Hopefully, it will all freeze down to the ice below it with the frigid weather predicted over the next few days ... and then it can snow after that. Don't forget that we have just over 2 more weeks of open season for ice fishing for trout, walleye and pike before it closes for another year. Whitefish is open all year but huts have to be off the lakes by the end of March.
Sunday, February 19, 2017. Our guests' success rate have finally picked up after a couple weeks of less than normal catches. Early in the week, one gentleman had a submersible camera with a 360 degree view that showed a pair of large lake trout swimming up to the camera and circling every lure and bait combination that he put down there but refused to bite any of them. We knew they were large trout as the tails were higher than the 4 inch lures that he was using. We guessed them to be in the 8 to 10 pound range. I told him that they were guarding the feeding bed and there wouldn't be any other fish allowed in there until they were either caught or left the area. Well, I guess the lakers were tired of the area (or maybe they just missed seeing his lures) because after he went home, people started catching fish again. The next couple caught 2 average size whitefish, 2 trout that averaged 3 pounds and a 5 pound pike ... all in the same hut that he had fished in. Another warm spell is predicted for the coming week and slush has already started to show under all the snow so caution is urged when travelling off the beaten trails and be aware that there will be thin ice at any creeks flowing into area lakes.
Sunday, February 5, 2017. Fishing has been slow this past week for both customers and catches. We haven't had a lot of people on the ice and for those that were here, catches were less than what we normally expect. Again, whitefish were the predominant species along with a few walleye. A couple trout were released as their season doesn't open for another two weeks. Lake travel is excellent for those with a sled and wanting to try the back lakes. All the slush is froze and we have 3 or 4" of new snow on top of that. However, extreme caution is necessary around any stream mouths as the warm spell of 2 weeks ago will still have created sufficient current and thinner ice to sink both you and your sled. Floater suits, ice picks and snow shoes are a cheap investment for trips into the back country.
Sunday, January 29, 2017. Colder temperatures over the past week have certainly stiffened up all the slush on area lakes and snowmobile travel is excellent if you're planning on getting into back lakes to wet a line. Three inches of new snow will also grease the sliders but be wary of any possible frozen slush under this new cover. I now have the second hut on the lake in front of the lodge and both are banked up ... finally. Guests caught both whitefish and wallye this past week and said they will return for lake trout when that season opens in another 2 weeks from now.
Sunday, January 22, 2017. I've had lots of calls lately about ice conditions and success rates for the ice fishing. Unfortunately, there's nothing good to report at the present time. About a week ago, I took one hut out on the ice and parked it and haven't been back out there since. Ice was soft, slush was everywhere and there was insufficient snow in a close proximity to bank up around the hut. Since then, conditions have only become worse with above freezing temperatures both day & night and even more slush than before. Ice conditions are not safe at the present time and I would suggest staying off of it until temperatures get a lot colder for several days in a row. I did have a couple parties in last week when I was taking the hut out and they had their own clam shells to use. They did catch both whitefish and walleye but they said it was slow and hard work getting them to stay on the hook. Hopefully I can get the other hut out and we can go fishing next weekend. Stay tuned; I'll let you know when that happens.
Wednesday, January 4, 2017. We finally have a considerable and safe amount of ice (6 to 10") in most places on most lakes for ice fishing opportunities but there is also a dreadful amount of slush on it under a couple feet of snow. Ice fishermen are welcome at the lodge for meals and accommodations but I still haven't got the ice huts out on the lake because of 1)the unusual warm temperatures we have had over the past few weeks and the resulting slush conditions to pull the huts through and 2) also because of personal health problems and treatments that I am currently having. Next week is supposed to have a return to normal cold winter conditions so I'm hoping the slush will freeze up and I can get the huts out after that. The choice is yours: bring your own portable huts or brave the elements and walk out onto the lake or sit on a snowmobile and fish your hearts out.
Wednesday, December 14, 2016. We are already looking at a better ice fishing season than what last year gave us and we haven't even stepped on the ice yet. The bay in front of the lodge glazed over about a week ago (last year was Christmas Day) and it's been relatively cold since then with even colder temperatures predicted for the next week or more. The down side of all this is that we're getting way more snow than we need to help increase the ice depth. There is now about 6" of snow on what little ice formed before that first snowfall and this "insulation" is not helping to make ice over the warmer lake water. Needless to say, nobody has ventured out onto this ice yet to check its depth. When I hear from other locals that we have 6"of good ice, I will get the huts out and post it in here. Hopefully, that could be as early as New Years.
Tuesday, April 12, 2016. Yes, there is still lots of good ice on area lakes. Shorelines are still solid also. An unusual cold spell over the last couple weeks have kept ice conditions in excellent shape. We have also had sufficient snow to slow the sun's effect on surface ice. Double digit below freezing temperatures are predicted through this coming weekend with only slightly warmer temperatures for next week. I've talked to a few local fishermen and they were pleased with their efforts on stocked area trout lakes. My best guess is that we should be good for another 2 weekends of fishing.
Sunday, March 20, 2016. Fishing season for 2015/16 closed today for all species except whitefish. Overall, it was not a good year for winter anglers not only on this lake but everywhere. After talks with fishermen from as far south as Lake Simcoe and west to Sudbury, everybody was wondering where all the fish were. Who do we blame the poor catches on: El Nino or Donald Trump? Hopefully, the coming summer will produce better results. Stocked lakes for all trout species (rainbow, brook and lake trout) are open all year and ice is still hard and safe for foot traffic. Cold weather is predicted for the next week to 10 days so if anyone still wants to wet a line for them and whitefish, the ice is still solid and glassy as there is no snow on it anywhere. Bring your own lawn chairs or bucket seats and enjoy some brisk sunshine.
Sunday, March 13, 2016. Frosty nights over the past week have stiffened up the slush and lake travel is good everywhere again. The downside is that there isn't very much snow to grease the sliders on the sleds. I've brought one hut in already and the other one will be coming in shortly. Ice fishing season closes on the 15th (Tuesday) for everything except whitefish.
Sunday, March 6, 2016. Warm temperatures during the past week has brought up slush in some places on some lakes. Again, the fish are "off the bite" and catches have been slow and poor, at best. The hightlight of the past week was a hefty 3.75 pound lake trout which is the biggest so far this winter but could be surpassed as the ice fishng season is still open for another full week yet. Unseasonably warm weather hovering above and below the freezing point is predicted for the next 7 to 10 days which will only bring more slush with it. Don't forget that ice fishing season closes for all species except whitefish on the 15th and huts have to be off the lakes by the end of the month.
Saturday, February 27, 2016. The slush is all froze solid for 3 or 4 inches now with a few areas still showing slush below that thick crust. Sledding is easy and we received plenty of snow this past week to make acces to any favorite back lakes possible. The down side is that the fish are barely biting anywhere. Nothing is predictable as to when it is a good time to wet a line. Our guests are catching the occasional ones but they are still few and far between. I've taked with operators on other area lakes and all are reporting smaller fish and smaller catches than in previous years. There is still over 2 weeks of season left for this winter so if you want to try your luck, don't wait too long.
Saturday, February 20, 2016. Cold nights around -40 C early in the week froze all the remaining slush on area lakes making for easy snowmobile travel just about everywhere.
Friday, February 12, 2016. It's been a brutally cold week with lots of snow and heavy winds. The slush isn't going away but appears to be getting worse. Most areas on most lakes have a foot of slush under a foot of the new snow making sled travel to back lakes nearly impossible. Fishing has been spotty with no pattern for reliable catches. However, the fish being caught are bigger and heavier than those in the past few weeks and closer to or above those that we usually catch. This is the Family Day holiday weekend with free fishing (no licence required) for fishermen as well as free OFSC trail use for sledders. Lake trout season opens Monday through March 15. Get everybody bundled up and outside to enjoy winter's favorite activities.>
Friday, February 5, 2016. Warm weather and rains earlier this week brought more slush up to the top of the snow and lakes were a mess everywhere. Luckily, the snow that followed was light and the cold easily penetrated it and now 90% of that slush has froze solid. Fishing success has remained steady but slow and everybody is catching some fish. Whitefish has outnumbered the walleye by 5 to 1 and the majority of all the fish have been smaller than normal this winter. Remember that trout season opens next week, the 15th, and runs for a month.
Saturday, January 30, 2016. It's been a long time since I got to do any ice fishing this early in the season but today I had 2 hits and iced 2 average size whitefish ... and skunked my friend that was with me so I'm up 2 bucks! Slush is terrible everywhere on the lakes so we didn't travel to other areas looking for better fishing holes. Much colder temps are predicted for the next 10 days so hopefully the slush will stiffen up and make travel to back lakes a lot easier.
Saturday, January 23, 2016. Finally! I got the huts out yesterday after the slush froze up enough in the past few weeks to drive a snowmobile across. There is still a considerable amount of slush in several locations on the lake but a lot of it has an inch of crust with varying slush depths below that. Ice thickneses below the slush also vary in depths from as thin as 2 inches to 8 inches. If you are travelling on new snow, extreme caution is urged and check ice conditions often with an ice chisel. Newspapers over the last week have reported pedestrians, snowmobiles and trucks have not used common sense and are now out and dry (the pedestrian) or are "on the bottom" waiting for better ice before attempting a rescue lift.
Tuesday, January 5, 2016. We're getting closer to going fishing! Over the last few nights, we've had temperatures in the -20 to -25C range and ice is getting thicker every day. There is still a lot of snow on it and slush is showing in several places due to the wieght of the snow. The downside is that they're predicting temperatures around freezing and rain/snow for the coming weekend which won't help at all. Hopefully, we can get 5 or 6" of ice as soon as possible and then the huts will be moved from their summer storage.
Friday, January 1, 2016. We still had open water from shore to shore on all area lakes a week ago on Christmas Day. Since then, the lake has froze over but we also got 6 or 8" of snow on top of an inch or two of ice which isn't safe enough (for me, anyways) to walk on. It's going to be a while yet.
Saturday, December 19, 2015. I hate to say it but it will be a long time yet before anybody does any icefishing anywhere around Temagami. This lake, as well as every other lake, is ice-free from shore to shore. Yes, it is open water everywhere. With the forecast of +10 C between now and Christmas, it will be well into the new year before it gets a skim of ice and then it could be quite a while before we will have 6 inches or more of safe ice to support an ice hut and snowmobiles. Without sounding too pessimistic, that could easily be February at the best. If it is any consolation, the inch or two of snow that we have will also melt with the warm temperatures over the next few days so snowmobilers are also suffering their winter blues.
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