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Arctic Char gone wild

  • Published: Monday, 23 January 2017 01:16
  • Written by Matthew G. Hauge
  • Hits: 1694

20170125 01

Some times the fish are biting so good that you will remember it for the rest of your life. Today was one of those days. Sonia called me yesterday evening. we had both been out on the ice Sunday, but I had to leave early as I had my daughter with me, and she wanted to go home quite soon. She's only Three, so naturally this was to be expected. What stunned me later was that when we came home she told me that it just didn't feel right to go fishing today, and that she didn't feel well being on the ice. It is not that she doesn't like fishing, because she was with us out on Friday, and loved it. In fact she hasn't spoken about anything else since. Well, Sonia wanted to update me on how her day had been. She had caught a few eating size perch, and a few small ones. Later Modi had showed up, and he had told Sonia that he wanted to try for Arctic Char . Sonia had been wanting to try for Arctic char as well. She had not got a chance to fish for them much this season, and had barely caught enough fish for a morning snack. Not that that had meant anything the main point about fishing is to get out in to nature, and just enjoy the day. This is where all problems are solved, and what gives ut the therapy needed to survive an otherwise hectic life. 

 20170125 06I had extra camera equipment with me that day, and was carrying a bit more than Normal, so Modi offered to take Sonia's gear. He headed off directly to the usual spot, while Sonia and I stopped by a small branch that someone had placed on the ice. "I bet this is the shallow that we where looking for when we had Selma with us on the ice", I said to Sonia. "What do you mean" she said. "Do you remember  when we had Selma with us in the baby buggy ?". That was two years ago, but I knew she would remember the trip. "You know, I circled this area with the boat this summer and tried to find this spot with the Deeper , but couldn't find it. We've gotten our lines stuck a couple times here, and also caught some nice Perch here. I also caught a really nice arctic char on this spot a few years back". "This is one of those spots that you never find when you are looking for it, but stumble over it when you aren't". Sonia knew of the shallow, but never really had tried fishing here. Finding the spot out in the middle is easier as there is the wind shelter on the shore, and a rock sticking up from the water that creates way points to find it. This spot has no such reference points to line it up, so it is difficult to find. 
20170125 03I make holes for both Sonia and me, and set my Deeper to boat mode, and stick it in one of the holes. Sure enough, it shows three meters. An orange dot forms on the boat map, and surprisingly my tracks from this summer show up as well. I don't recall using this Deeper, nor this phone this summer. I had the same account with Deeper, so this must be stored data, and sure enough, I find all my trips from last year in the history log. Depth charts and all. Turned out that I had been just 10-20 meters too close to shore when looking for the shallow. This spot is not big. Just a little to far in either direction and the water is 10 meters deep or more. 
"Should we try this spot", Sonia asks. "Sure", I say. "I'd love to". "Take one of my rods", I say quickly. Modi who was carrying Sonia's gear has already reached the fishing spot he was heading for, and has his line in the water. Sonia's gear is next to him on the ice. I decide to test my new camera gear. An underwater camera in a long cable with a small screen and recording device that allows you to watch what's happening on the bottom in real time. It takes me some time to get the camera down and aligned with my fishing spot, so it sees my hook . The camera has infrared LED's that allow it to see in the dark. Still, the clear water allows us to see quite a bit. No fish though, but lots of small brine shrimp, and insects which are perfect for the Arctic Char to feed on. I've rigged my camera up using my auger, the case it came in and my tackle box, so it looks like some high tech weird madman construction, so when Modi comes over I cover over it with me coat. I want to show him the camera, but only after I've gotten a proper stand set up for it. There is nothing for him to see as it is, no fish, only a sand bottom with a little mud over the sand. 
Modi gives Sonia her gear and heads over to the other side of the lake. Shortly after we decide to do the same, and pack up our gear. 
20170125 05At the other side we find Modi. He's caught a small perch, that's all, and changes spots. No fish in the new spot either, and we see him set off to yet another spot. a place where we've been earlier and caught some nice fish. He makes a few holes, but no fish, then he moves a few meters and makes another hole. It is difficult for Sonia to move around like that so I decide to wait until Modi catches something before we take action. Suddenly Sonia stands up and says "he caught one, lets go over there". I turn around just in time to see Modi pull an arctic char up on the ice. He gets one more before are over where he is. I make holes for Sonia and my self, and drop my line in. Now Modi is pulling up his third fish. 
20170125 02Whoops, now I've got one as well. I pull up a small arctic char that I carefully unhook and let back in. My line barely gets under the ice before I have another one on. this time big enough to keep. Sonia is on a fish as well, and is cursing because she's got the line all tangled up. Take this rod, i say and hand her the rod she borrowed from me earlier. Bait is still on the hooks so she only has to drop the line in. For a few minutes the fish seem to have gone completely crazy. The one fish after the other hits our hooks. I never manage to reach the bottom before I've got fish on. It is like fishing in a fish tank full of hungry fish. After pulling up three keepers, I start letting all fish back in. it is not until I reach the bottom for the first time here that I take another eating size fish. When the bite stops I have five nice eating size fish on the ice. the rest I've let go. After all there is a bag limit of five Arctic Char or trout. We continue fishing for a little while, but not much happens. I catch one more fish that I let go, and Sonia gets a Whitefish.We decide to head back home. Both Modi and I have caught about thirty Arctic Char each within a few minutes. Sonia has caught six plus the whitefish. We've maxed our bag limit, and will have to let any further fish go anyhow.