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woman in black coat holding a fish during ice fishing at Lac St Anne

This past weekend – the very last weekend of the ice fishing season- was the only weekend I have been out ice fishing without my children.

Did you see what I just wrote there?

Without. My. Children.

Oh, God bless grandparents who babysit their grandchildren!

Saturday I threw a roast in my crockpot at 6 am, dropped the kids of at my brothers where my parents were staying and my husband, sister and I headed out for some ice fishing at Lac St Anne, a short 35 minute drive from the west end of Edmonton.

We already knew that this weekend we would be walking out onto the lake, for safety reasons as well as the fact that the snow and ice on top of the lake was incredibly slushy. We had no desire to get the Dodge stuck on the middle of a lake, since we figured that would put a damper on Easter weekend activities. Just slightly.

When we arrived there it appeared that it was a good idea we packed up the ice fishing sled in preparation to hike out because the surface of the lake was a mess. Trucks would try to drive on and ended up reversing, realizing that it wasn’t such a great idea after all. Those who were stubborn were having to gun their engines so hard to get through the slush that the sound of their engines were a royal pain in the….ear to those of us already on the ice.  Just walk people, just walk. It’s not like you aren’t going to be sitting for hours once you get there!

Lac St Anne is no stranger to my family, but it’s much less familiar for the hardwater fishing that you do in winter. We spent a lot of time Walleye fishing on Lac St Anne when we were children – I’m going to dig up those pictures, oh my, the walleye used to be great!- but it’s been years since I’ve been on that lake.

To be honest, the fishing was less than spectacular, indeed, it was the worst day all season.

Other than my buddy Jack that you see in the pictures with me, we didn’t see a single other fish while ice fishing at Lac St Anne.

Now we are not expert fisherman by any means, however we have had a seriously amazing ice fishing season. I’d like to think that we know what we are doing a good 70% of the time out there on the ice. I give us a B for knowing what we do out there, with lots of room for improvement.

This lake was weird.

We spent all day there, moved to three different positions, tried three different depths and we didn’t see a single fish. Indeed, Jack was caught on a tip-up which is usually the last resort fish, that’s not how we typically land them. Tip-ups are a “just in case”. We didn’t even see a perch! The scourge of the seas shallow sandy lake bottom and we didn’t see a single one.

I can truly say that’s the first in a long…long time. Three people staring down three ice fishing holes for hours upon end…and seeing nothing.

Lucky for me, my buddy Jack decided that I wasn’t going home skunked for the first time this ice fishing season – that means not catching anything at all in fisher talk- and he was the highlight of the day. Northern Pike have to be released at Lac St Anne, so back he went to swim another day. Sadly, because he was a beautiful eating size.

You’re pretty lucky, Jack. I have some recipes in my noggin just a’ waiting for you.

We’ll meet again this summer at another lake.

close up of woman in black coat holding a fish

However, don’t feel too sorry for me.

We spent the entire weekend ice fishing. Those who follow me on Instagram will have seen pictures of the amazing fishing trip from Sunday. I have so many pictures to share about all our whitefish adventures these past couple of months that I thought I would finish the write ups of my smaller, more varied trips – see my Burbot, Perch & Walleye, Oh My! post to see some more awesome fishing pictures.

The large whitefish write ups are a coming, there are so many pictures and so much material to write about that it’s taking me a while to get through it all.

For now, enjoy pictures of Jack and if anyone has any tips for Lac St Anne, share away! I’d like to know what was up with that lake!


The Very Sad That Ice Fishing Season is Over Magpie

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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  1. ViBenner says

    Yes! Great pike! Lucky girl! We used to fish at Lac St Anne, that was a long time ago. You used to be able to pull walleye out of there that were great eating size. Not anymore….

  2. Beckie Swanson says

    Gorgeous Pike! We call them ‘gators…doesn’t the name just suit them?

  3. The Kitchen Magpie says

    Ah too kind Rob Kate Wigmore! But I’ll take it 😉

  4. The Kitchen Magpie says

    He was pretty awesome, Bob Marchese! Too bad he didn’t end up in my skillet!

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