Athabasca Ice Fishing Adventure

As part of a corporate team building event, it was decided a few that a few of us would head a couple of hours North of Edmonton to the small town of Athabasca to meet with a guide to take us out ice fishing for the weekend.

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It’s a quiet little town of just under 3000 people, but I didn’t get a chance to explore. We were scheduled to meet up at the hotel, grab some supper and call it a night for an early Saturday a.m. breakfast followed by the trip to Calling Lake Provincial Park – another 45 minutes north of Athabasca.

I don’t think it had been discussed previously, and if it was, I know it wasn’t discussed with me, but upon the arrive to the Park, our guide led us down to the boat launch area and promptly continued right out onto the ice!

Although I had some hesitation, I followed along with the VagabondExpedition Jeep knowing that the truck the guide was driving would be heavier than the Jeep and the first one to experience problems. I really hoped this guy knew what he was doing and where he was going!

A couple of kilometers out onto the lake, we turned towards the shore-line and stopped to get setup for the day of ice fishing.

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It was a very cold start to the morning at roughly -18C, but the sun was rising and with all my cold weather gear on, I was warm and decided to stay outside of the ice huts to fish.

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It was a very slow morning, a few bites and some lost bait, but nothing solid where you could set the hook into whatever it was that was biting. I took the opportunity to play with the Nikon camera – I still haven’t been learning about the different settings and controls, so most of my time is spent on the auto settings. I managed to get a few decent shots such as this close of up of the water droplets freezing on the fishing line.

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After some time into the day, we switched up bait and lines and went for some larger fish, and a short while later we had ‘fish on’. I pulled up this 74cm / 29inch Northern Pike.

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Although fish weren’t biting all that much it was still a great day. Ice fishing isn’t going to be for everyone, but if you’re going to give it a try, be sure to dress for the weather. Jeans might be fine if you’re used to the cold, but I’m not and required thermal long underwear, warm pants then the thick Gore-Tex winter pants and jacket. Pictured below is the Jeep and our fishing guide – clearly used to being in the cold – a lot.

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Towards the end of the day, I packed up early and left the hard-core ice fishermen to wrap things up on their own. It would give me time to get back home to clean up this fish and even get some cooked up for supper.

It was a fun drive across the lake getting out of there. The Jeep pulled through the snow quite well, although the larger tires do pull you around through existing tracks and ruts fairly easily.

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It’s all about experiences, so get out there and explore. Step out side of your comfort zone and enjoy life instead of living the same day over and over again. You don’t necessarily need a grand life-long adventure, but a series of #microadventures along the way is often enough to keep things interesting in exciting in life.

ice fishing collage

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