Ice fishing season coming to a close

With the upcoming change in season, many anglers in the area are preparing to wrap up ice fishing throughout Lake Simcoe.

Luke Ledlie operates Fish Simcoe Hardwater Outfitters in Innisfil, providing traditional wooden ice huts for those venturing out for the popular winter activity. He says this year’s season was one of the best in about a decade.

“It was those good, cold nights early in January,” Ledlie says. “In order to lock up Lake Simcoe, it’s a big water body, and what you need is three -20s at night with low winds. Once you get that, you’ll seal it up.”

Ledlie says they operated across four winters last year, something he says has become typical in recent years. However, with the frigid conditions seen in 2022, this year’s season extended across eight weekends, starting in January.

“We’ve had an outstanding winter. It’s been awesome,” says Ledlie. “We’re going to have great conditions to get all of our units off, which is great. We’ve got huts rented right through the 15th. It’s been outstanding. It’s been a great winter, and we just hope for another one just like it.”

According to government regulations, traditional ice huts, like the 18 that Ledlie operates, must be removed by March 15 in the Lake Simcoe area. However, the season can be extended for those with a portable fish hut made of cloth or synthetic fabric.

However, with the upcoming change in season, safety and caution must be kept in mind.

“There’s a reason why we have to have our huts off on the 15th, and it’s because of the sun,” says Ledlie. “The sun gets high enough in the sky that it starts penetrating down on the ice, and even if you have two feet of ice which we almost have right now, it starts affecting it, and those sun rays penetrate into those ice, and that’s why we have to be out on the 15th, the shorelines start to go.”

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