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Merry Christmas Anglers! I hope you’re all having an amazing holiday. It was a busy week at the String Theory household but I managed to squeeze in a morning of pike fishing with my friend, HuyFishin, at Lessard Lake.
The south end boat launch was empty when I arrived and as I loaded my gear into the sled the sun began to rise. I would normally take my ATV on days when I would be moving around a lot but I just finished building a smitty sled for my XL Jet Sled and I was eager to try it out. The lake has 11” of ice and was pretty consistent across the areas I fished. If the lake was any bigger the ice thickness would vary more. I find that these smaller lakes ice over pretty uniformly from year to year. I was glad to see there was nowhere near the same amount of floodwater as other lakes in the area. My last two outings had me standing in ankle deep water for the entire day.
Despite visiting Lessard Lake a few times over the years, I don’t know it very well. I haven’t been back since I started using Autochart Live and not knowing the contours left me feeling blind. To the left of the boat launch, about 50 yards from shore, was a small ice shack. I guess that’s as good a place as any to start looking. Ice fishing offers a unique opportunity to learn a new body of water since you can see where other anglers have been. With a bit of effort, you can travel around the lake and find spots others may have had luck at.
My go-to search bait for pike and walleye is a pink lipless crank bait made by Northland Tackle. There are many different brands of this lure type so take your pick, but I find both pike and walleye come and check out the pink color. Even if they don’t bite it, they will at least show up on my flasher and I will know if something is around.
The first hole I drilled I found nothing, and nothing at the second hole either. Every 50-100 yards down the shore I would drill and drop my lure down but still no signs of activity. Where were these pike? On the other end of the bay is a prominent point that I’ve had luck at in the past. So I re-packed the sled, crossed the bay, while continuing to check the depth as I went.
The end of the point was pretty heavily trafficked with lots of old holes and spaces cleared for tents, a good sign that this must be the spot. I drilled my first hole and instantly marked my first fish of the day in 14 feet of water. I didn’t catch it but at least that was something. The iFish Pro tip up went in the first hole with a 6” herring and I continued to drill the area out, ready for my guests to arrive.
Around that 15 foot depth we began marking something on the flashers. Whatever it is seemed small, so I dropped down an Aqua Vu camera to find a bunch of little perch. I always have a rod ready for perch so I baited my favorite hot pink Clam Speed Spoon with some maggots and dropped it down. Within seconds I landed a beauty!
Not huge, but a good sign the pike will come around and start chasing perch when they get hungry. I continued to feed perch on my jigging rod and every once in a while the tip up would go off with a small pike on the other end. I didn’t land anything big but the action was constant and we had fun.
Shortly after lunch I had to pack up to go to a Christmas party but I was pretty satisfied. I had a good morning workout dragging a 100 lb sled through the snow, I got to try out some new goodies and caught a few fish along the way. Not a bad way to start any day in my opinion.
Edit – HuyFishin’ made a great video of our day on the hardwater. Check out the video as well as his channel on YouTube: