Ice fishing is not for the faint of heart. While there's nothing quite like spending a day on the ice with friends and hooking a few big ones, it can also be cold, time-consuming, and labor-intensive. The difficulty and discomfort factor can go way up if you happen to be ice fishing somewhere truly cold and remote, like Canada or Alaska. Luckily, for one Candian fisherman ice fishing for trout, the payoff was well worth the trouble.
Justin Jenken, a fisherman on the Fish Frostbite YouTube channel, lives in Baker Lake, Nunavut, Canada. For those who don't know where that is (likely most of us), it's a tiny community in northern Canada on the same latitude as Greenland. The only way in or out is by airplane and, being that far north, Baker Lake experiences some incredibly cold weather, with winter temperatures averaging -30 degrees.
Those cold temperatures make for a long ice fishing season, and Jenken takes full advantage of it. He snowmobiles three hours north of town to fish where Thelon River meets Schultz Lake. In the YouTube episode he catches not one, not two, but three massive lake trout on a spinning rod in one afternoon. And, he does it through six feet of ice. Whatever ice auger Jenken is using to drill through that much ice, we want one.
The area of the lake where Jenken catches his fish is shallow, at just 13 feet deep. With six feet of ice, that means Jenken is only fishing in about seven feet of water— and catching a 42-inch trout in it. He has some difficulty bringing such a big fish up through so much ice, but with some patience, he manages to turn the fish's head and bring him up through the hole, holding him up for the camera to see. Jenken measures the fish quickly before slipping it back down the hole, saying that it was the biggest lake trout he'd ever brought up through the ice and one of the biggest he'd ever caught.
"I'm shaking, I'm absolutely shaking," Jenken says to the camera, grinning from ear to ear. He manages to bring up two other, smaller trout over the course of the afternoon.
Many anglers may go the whole season without hooking into a true giant, and Jenken's day out ice fishing is one that most of us can only dream of going on.
Enjoy the outdoors?
Sign up for daily stories delivered straight to your inbox.