It’s no surprise to locals to see parades of neatly decorated ice fishing shacks on the streets and trunk highways around Dauphin during the late fall months. This season certainly began later than those in recent memory and avid fishermen & women waited patiently for the stubborn warmth of fall to turn to the chilled, icy, red-cheeking air of our beloved Manitoba winters. Some of the more industrious kind went so far as to build new shacks in the comfort of their own driveways, which required deep contemplation on the meaning of fishing.
But, as the weeks wore on, so did the predictable wane of the sun and eventually the waters of Lake Dauphin froze enough for tents and ATV’s , fishermen and women huddled around single holes for the day. After that we began to see the villages of shacks smattered across Lake Dauphin like some ancient and crazy civilization that has not yet realized it is warmer as you head south.
Ice fisherpeople are a hardy folk – the survivalist types, if you will. Early mornings, trekking out to the shack in frigid weather, struggling to get a fire going once inside, frozen fingers sticking to the stove door. But the fires do get going and the shacks transform into saunas on the sea, layers of fluffy winter clothing hung for the time being while family and friends wait for bites, dreaming of the great fish fry. Lake Dauphin is a quintessential prairie lake and on a clear day the bluebird sky stretches on forever. Holes are drilled outside the shack most especially on these days and a mid-winter sunburn becomes a coveted achievement.
When the fishing is great – the competition is fierce:
When it’s not so great, fisherfolk can be VERY grateful:
Some fish are big:
Some are a little smaller:
But make no mistake – all are tasty!
Fishing on Lake Dauphin is usually quite successful and can be just as much fun in the winter as it is in the summer! For more information on guided ice fishing tours on Lake Dauphin, look no further than legendary fisherman, Sticky of Sticky’s Bait and Tackle. This guy brings a wealth of knowledge on fishing and hunting in the region and surely knows all the secret spots if you are a newbie to the area. Fishing licenses are available at Sticky’s as well! If you’re looking for a fun-filled weekend in the Parkland Region, make Dauphin your home base! It’s only a short drive from popular Clear Lake, Elkhorn and historic Wasagaming Townsite , another to the pristine forests and lakes of the Duck Mountains and 15 minutes from Lake Dauphin where the fish bite so often it makes hardwater fishing easy as fry. (Get it? We said fry, instead of pie. Because it rhymes.)