For a proud father and avid fisherman, there is nothing I enjoy more than taking my two boys, Cameron and Nathan, fishing. On March 7th, my good friend Don and I packed the car with gear and took the boys to Lake Simcoe, Ontario, for some ice fishing. The lake is just an hour’s drive north of Toronto. The weather was amazing; bluebird skies, 15 degrees celcius (unusual for this time of year) and nary a whisper of wind. We travelled to the lakeside community of Beaverton, situated on the east side of the lake. I asked a fisherman coming off the lake how the ice conditions were and he told us that it was two feet thick and that we could still drive on to the lake. So we drove about a mile out and chose a spot close to where I had fished before. I had made a promise to Cameron, my youngest, that I would cut him a hole first and get him set up with a live shiner minnow. Before I could get the next hole cut, Cam had already caught two nice sized perch. The second hole was for Nathan, my eldest son. I set him up with a jigging rapala and the head of a minnow to see how active the perch were. Nate caught a big perch, about 10 inches, right off the bat. I was glad my friend Don was there because for the next hour I was running back and forth between Cam and Nate taking off perch and re-baiting hooks. A glorious start to our day.
Don and I caught our share, but the boys cleaned up. Altogether we caught about thirty perch. The best part was asking the boys what they wanted to do with the fish. Although perch are some of the tastiest fish anywhere, the boys chose to release them all to grow bigger for next time. I just love that. We stayed for four hours – a quality day for spending with family, friends and the great Canadian outdoors.
Lake Simcoe is a productive lake, loaded with perch, lake whitefish, lake herring, lake trout, northern pike, crappie and bass. Named after Lord Simcoe, the first Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, it’s easily accessible with lots of nice beaches and very good fishing. Going fishing with my kids was an easy alternative to them sitting in front of those darn video games.
Tight lines and sharp hooks,