Wildwood Lake Ice Fishing for Perch

The dam at Wildwood Lake.

The dam at Wildwood Lake.

My son talked me into taking him and five friends out for a day of ice fishing on Wildwood Lake, just south of Stratford, Ontario. After parking on the road near the dam we packed in our gear (and lots of snacks) to a spot fairly close to the dam wall. There we laid out a line of seven holes from shallow (8 ft) to deeper water (15 ft). Small minnows were the bait for the day on a variety of rigs including small 1/8 oz jigs, hook and sinker and drop shot set-ups. We had started early in the afternoon and had no real action other than drilling new holes and lighting a nice fire for warming our hands. Around 4 o’clock the fishing action started when one of the boys pulled in a fat 8 inch perch. This was immediately followed by a chunky northern pike over one of the deepest holes.

Small differences can be super important – lesson of the day learned!

Ice fishing at Wildwood Lake.

Ice fishing at Wildwood Lake.

The boys then congregated around a tight group of holes over about 12-15 ft of water and started to catch one small perch after another. I decided to join the fray and dropped my drop shot rig down a hole with another line – only to have no luck while the line beside me pulled in four perch over a span of about twenty minutes. While both lines were baited with lively minnows, the effective one was set with a standard hook and sinker held about a foot and a half off the bottom – the same distance as my drop shot hook to its sinker. The difference appeared to be the extra motion allowed to the swimming minnow for the hook and sinker set up compared to the drop shot rig. I changed my set-up and was immediately rewarded. Small differences can be super important – lesson of the day learned!

We finished the day with smiles all around as everyone caught fish, even if they weren’t huge. I’m glad my son talked me into going.

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