YouTube: Backcountry Angling Ontario

Ice Fisherman Spots Shipwreck Through Crystal Clear Ice and Catches a Fish Off It

On any normal winter day, ice fishing requires anglers to rely on their prior knowledge of the lakebed or their electronics to locate and catch the fish. Because there are not many times you get the chance to see through the ice and spot the fish darting around on the lakebed. Today's video is an example of an extraordinary circumstance. Canadian YouTuber, Backcountry Angling Ontario, ventures out onto mighty Lake Superior in hopes of catching a lake trout. The ice is just barely the minimum thickness to walk on, but he isn't letting that stop his day of fishing. To his amazement, he spots one of the many shipwrecks of the Great Lakes just beneath the surface. Seeing this as a prime fishing opportunity, he drills some holes and manages to catch a lake trout or splake off it. He also captures some incredible underwater footage of the wreck.


Even though he only caught one fish, this was one of the coolest ice fishing videos we've seen in a while. It's not too surprising he found a wreck. No other body of freshwater in North America is home to more sunken ships than the Great Lakes, especially Lake Superior. The lake is home to famous maritime disasters like the wreck of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald, which claimed the lives of 29 men on November 29, 1975. The huge freighter was on her way to Detroit from Wisconsin when she sank during a terrible storm only about 17 miles from the safety of Whitefish Bay, Michigan while transporting a load of iron ore. To this day, at 729 feet long, she remains the largest ship to have sunk in the Great Lakes.

While the Fitz is the most well-known, maritime history records thousands of other wrecks in the Great Lakes. Lake Michigan, Lake Huron and Lake Erie have their share of wrecks, but it is Lake Superior that is most notorious for severe storms and lost ships. Everything from simple scows to wooden steamers, steamships, bulk freighters, and wooden schooners, have vanished beneath her waves.

Even with advances in modern sonar, many wrecks have never been found or are located hundreds of years later. A prime example is the freighter the Hudson. She left Duluth, Minnesota in 1901 when she went down in a storm off the Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigan. She wasn't seen again until she was finally found in 2019. Another example is the Henry B. Smith, which sank in 1913 and wasn't found until exactly 100 years later. The lake does a good job of hiding her secrets.

The wreck in this video was only in about 40 feet of water according to the electronics he had. We're not experts, but it appears to be an older wooden ship. We were as fascinated by the ship as we were entertained by him catching a fish off it. If you can locate a wreck like this, it's a good idea to mark it with your GPS if you can. A wreck like this will hold fish year after year and provide you with a hidden hotspot to catch lots of lunkers!

For more outdoor content from Travis Smola, be sure to follow him on Twitter and check out his Geocaching and Outdoors with Travis YouTube channels