The Ottawa River is a significant body of water with an even more impressive current. So imagine my surprise when my good friend and area fishing guide Yannick Loranger called me up and asked if I wanted to be his first guest in his brand new 12 x 20 ice shack? “Sure”, I said over the phone all the time thinking, “I hope this thing has an escape hatch in the roof”.
After picking up some super lively minnows from Charlie’s Minnows in Rockland we met up with Yannick outside the biggest fishing shack I’d ever had the pleasure of entering.
Yannick thought of everything. Furnace, stove, lights and even a flat screen TV. Bunks for up to 8 anglers, table and chairs, and four holes in the floor to fish all night.
Well, word soon got out that I was going to inaugurate Yannick’s new cabin and before long I was turning down friends who were suddenly all too eager to “help out”. Even still, we had at least eight guys hanging around and inside that very cool “man cave” that night – just the four of us stayed the night, including Yannick himself.
Late into the night my BlueTipz wireless bite alarm sets off the warning on my smart phone that there was action outside on my Frabill tip-up. Yannick flipped back on the 500 watt spots and out we stumbled into the cold where I was certain I would find a huge pike morroding my 7’ minnow fixed to a single 3/0 EagleClaw j-hook. With everyone gathered around I surprised myself and popped what must have been the hungriest 15” Walleye out of the hole with just the tail of the minnow still visible. Wasn’t hard to get the rest of my minnow back, but that was it for the night. 2:28 a.m. – time to hit the sack.
The next morning Yannick was the first to hit the deck and before long had the generator fired up and the stove going. Smells of bacon and eggs had the rest of us soon rolling out of bed.
I never went far though, having only to put my feet on the floor to start jigging a small Emerald Shiner. I just finished my breakfast, still fishing the entire time, when there was a strong and pulsing sensation at the end of my line. I reeled up to set the hook but it was gone. A quick check to make sure the minnow was still there, and then back down using my Frabill in-line reel and rod combo. Wasn’t long and the fish was back.
The fish felt heavy. I hoped it was one of those monster Walleye’s the Ottawa is known for, but after three good long drag ripping runs, Yannick reached way down and dragged up a very decent 10 lbs Muskie.
Thankfully the Trocar TK150 size #1 drop shot hook was perfectly lodged in the corner of the bruit’s mouth, making extraction simple. Without pause I had her back down the hole where she departed with a swish of her tail.
That was one fun adventure. While Yannick’s cabin may lack somewhat in polish and decor, it sure makes up for it in size and functionality. No doubt, a big hit judging by the number of bookings Yannick is making. It may be a while before the mates and I get back out for a second round of late night ice fishing.
To book your own stay on ice with Yannick Loranger contact:
Tel: (613) 419-0565