Ice Fishing Saskatchewans Last Mountain Lake

My old man and I had been planning on getting some fishing in while I was home in Saskatchewan; however, the weather wasn’t behaving. Winds were gusting like crazy and causing the windchill to drop below -40 degrees celcius. Fortunate for me, the weather let up eventually, which gave us the opportunity to hurry out to Last Mountain Lake (Yea, so what, Saskatchewan likes irony) and drop our lines through a foot of ice.

We were joined by my youngest brother, Payden, my Dad’s fishing buddy Eric, and his Father-in-law, Wayne. Being the non-expert, I gladly sat back and observed the pro’s in action. Wayne has been fishing Last Mountain Lake for over 15 years, Summer or Winter, he’ll find a way to put his line in. Over the years I’ve managed to find myself falling through thin ice two times too many. Needless to say, I felt a heckuva lot safer knowing we had a couple seasoned professionals on board with us.

Corbin Fraser & Payden Fraser Ice Fishing

Meet the Artctic Cat

As my little brother and I unloaded the truck and threw whatever we could onto the Snowmobile, the old boys dragged out the collapsable ice fishing cabin and proceeded to attach it onto our sweet ride, the Arctic Cat. Faster than your average feline, and comfortably sits 3. As the final rods and tackle were loaded up, Wayne was happy to let us young guys hop on the sled with him. Take that walking!

Ice fishing saskatchewan snowmobile

Goodbye Shore!

The snowmobiles motor roared and we were off, dragging what I could only guess was over 900 pounds of gear and body. I couldn’t help but think “All those Christmas sweets could actually be the death of me”. I laughed it off as we picked up speed and watched as the snowy shore lined with cottages faded towards the horizon. Wayne let up on the throttle and slowed us down to a spot he thought might be deep enough to catch something.

Ice Fishing Depth

18 Feet And Counting

He used his fancy ice penetrating laser depth finder to find out we were still only above 18 feet of water. He suggested we head a little further out in the hopes that we’ll have better luck, and to avoid snagging any Jacks. The engine roared back to life and we continued on, despite knowing perfectly well the weather was turning on us. What was once a sunny blue Saskatchewan sky with calm winds had turned overcast and dropped to well below -35 with windchill. Prairie weather can be so unpredictable in the winter.

Walking on the frozen lake

A Cold Walk On Ice

We slowed down to our final location and began unloading gear. The ice fishing cabin was quickly set up, and all the luxaries were quickly placed inside. This wasn’t Waynes first rodeo, he came prepared. Kerosene heater, check. Fancy laser depth finder, check. Underwater fishing video camera with 10 inch display, check. Prepared indeed! As we finished setting everything up, my old man and his pal Eric finally made it. They were forced to walk all the way out on account of the lack of room on the snowmobile. Poor bastards.

Drilling in ice with Auger - Ice Fishing

Drilling the Lake

Eric promptly picked up the auger and began to drill himself a hole in the ice. The ice was no match for this giant drillbit and it sunk through like a hot knife through butter. Water spewed out of the hole as the auger was pulled up, bringing shards of ice along with it. You could practically smell how cold it was down there. I quickly went over some old safety tips I had learned as a kid if you ever fall through the ice. I approached the hole and laughed at how thick the ice was. I thought to myself “Yea, I won’t be needing those.”

Baiting Lines Ice Fishing

Prepare to Fish

Within minutes, we each had our own ice fishing hole along with baited lines dropped in. Our hooks dropped 20 odd feet and lay there waiting patiently, “Here fishy fishy fishy…” Part of me expected to haul out a marlin of a fish within the first few minutes, it just made sense to me judging by my prowess with fishing up north in the summer. Unfortunately, that wasn’t so. I sat and waited patiently.

Trent Fraser Ice Fishing Saskatchewan

Waiting for Fish

Time ticked by and still nothing. The underwater video camera showed a barren lake floor. I stepped outside of the heated cabin to see how the old boys were doing. Same situation over there. I couldn’t help but laugh at how red their faces were from the wind. If it weren’t for their relaxed bodies I’d think they were raging mad. They laughed as they saw me reaching for the bag where I stored a couple beers.

Ice fishing Last Mountain Lake

Coldest Ice Fishing, Ever

A snag, a false alarm, and a couple beers later and we still didn’t have a single thing. Wayne was apologizing on behalf of the lake, I insisted there was no need. Whether we caught anything or not, it’s still been fun. It’s not everyday you get to go ice fishing, and half the fun is just being out there. As the hours continued on, the weather continued to drop. It was getting to the point where skin was freezing, and we all decided to call ‘er quits.

As we loaded everything up I thanked Wayne and Eric for bringing us out here. They insisted I come back soon to try again, and I promised I would. I got a taste for the ice fishing, and I sure as hell am going to catch something out there one of these days. Unfortunately, that won’t be this winter. The truck was warm, and I had some extremities to unthaw. Fish or no fish, I had a blast!

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3 Responses to “Ice Fishing Saskatchewans Last Mountain Lake”

  1. Howard White
    February 13, 2011 at 12:33 am #

    Wow, you really took some great pictures and it looked like you had fun, despite the cold. I know that unless you try it, ice fishing always seems so foreign, but being on the lake, and enjoying the fishing is really worth it.

    Too bad you did not catch anything, but there is always next time. Thanks for the story, and the great share!

  2. Corbin Fraser
    July 7, 2011 at 4:36 am #

    Thanks Howard – I have a feeling I’ll be back out again next winter! There’s something strangely exhilerating about the whole thing. Fishing has always been a relaxing simple experience, but turning it on its head and adding that survavlist factor. So awesome!

    Thanks for reading.

  3. Samantha
    June 18, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

    This post made me laugh! I grew up in Strasbourg, so we would head out the the lake for some ice fishing. It’s not for the weak that’s for sure! :)

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