Lake Temagami Tactics & women in angling

Ashley Rae talks lake trout, whitefish, and the Ladies Angling Weekend.

It was early March, and I was sitting around a large table chatting fishing over a delicious dinner with a group of women I’d just met. We’d gathered at Temagami Shores Inn & Resort in Northeastern Ontario. We would spend the next few days fishing, laughing, and creating memories on the ice.

Oh yeah, and catching fish.

We introduced ourselves, talked about how we fell in love with fishing, and quickly found that we had a lot in common. Some were introduced to the sport through parents, and for others, it was an extended family member, friend, or significant other. These eight women from various Ontario locations (and even one from Texas) travelled up to Northeastern Ontario, all for the experience of ice fishing on Lake Temagami.

Whether participating in ice fishing for the first time or attending to gather more knowledge, the goal of the weekend was a fun ice fishing experience out on the ice with like-minded female anglers. Catching fish would be a nice bonus!

Lake Trout and Whitefish on Lake Temagami

Preparations for the day included drilling holes in the ice, setting lines inside and outside the huts, and lighting the woodstoves that come with each hut. (Photo: Jordan Nicksy)

The following morning the adventure began after breakfast when the amazing staff at Temagami Shores Inn & Resort transported us out on the lake to ice huts (complete with woodstoves). Armed with lunch and warm gear, they helped us all get set up for the day, from drilling holes in the best locations to lighting stoves.

Brittney snaps a quick picture with the first fish of the day before releasing it back into the lake. Photo: Ashley Rae.

This particular location on the lake had a steep break that dropped all the way down to 90 feet and was adjacent to a deeper basin. This type of area is classic for lake trout, as they’ll use the steep breaks to corral prey into tighter quarters and feed. With a ton of holes drilled throughout the area, we fished in a range of depths from 30 feet down to 90 feet. It didn’t take too long for the first fish of the trip to make an appearance.

Another catch and release; Ashley poses for a quick snap with her first through-the-ice whitefish. (Photo: Megan MacDuff)

We used a variety of presentations ranging from spoons to blade baits, and jig heads rigged with live minnows. During the winter months, anglers target lake trout, walleye, northern pike, and burbot. We focused on lake trout waters for this adventure and were pleasantly surprised with a few bonus whitefish as well.

I’ve landed whitefish in the past on open water, but this trip led me to my first through the ice. It’s always exciting putting another checkmark on the bucket list!

Fishing = Friendships

The Ladies Ice Fishing Weekend crew 2018.

It was a wonderful experience getting to know these women, and I loved hearing everyone’s stories about fishing, life and anything else we ended up chatting about. I can’t count the number of times I saw phones come whipping out of pockets to share and compare fishing photos. Whenever one of the women hooked into a fish or one was landed, a crew of ladies emerged surrounding the successful angler to snap photos and cheer her on.

Women in Angling

Megan and Laura manning one of their lines. (Photo: Ashley Rae)

Female anglers are the fastest-growing demographic in the sport of fishing. What’s incredible about this sport is that there are no limitations. No matter your age or skill level, it’s something that can be enjoyed by anyone.

Being raised by parents who included me in the same activities as my brother (if I so chose), I never viewed fishing as something “for the guys.” It’s encouraging and inspiring to see more and more women taking part in this amazing sport.

Ready to Experience Fishing?

This event, dubbed the Ladies Ice Fishing Weekend 2018, was part of a unique program developing in Northern Ontario with a focus on learning about fishing through hands-on experiences, and introducing newcomers to the sport. There’s no better way to learn!

Aptly named “Experience Fishing,” the program will be available at lodges and accommodators throughout Northern Ontario. Whether you’re completely new to fishing, or just want to pick up some more tips along the way, programs like this are a great place to start while making new friends.

Sound like your cup of tea? Sign up to our Travel Newsletter to be among the first to hear about the Experience Fishing program!

More Resources

Ashley Rae -
Ontario Women Anglers Association
Get Your Ontario Outdoors Card
Ontario Fish ONLine – Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry Interactive Database
Ontario Fishing Regulations Summary

About Ashley Rae

Ashley Rae is a year-round multi-species angler residing in Ottawa, Ontario. She is a full-time fishing writer and content creator. Ashley is passionate about chasing anything with fins from her boat, kayak, from shore, or on the ice

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