I got out for some ice fishing last Wednesday afternoon on Crappie Bay on the Ottawa River at Petrie Island–it was February 5th. It was panfish I hoped to catch through the ice. Crappie Bay holds black crappie, bluegill, pumpkinseed and yellow perch. I brought wax worms for bait and an array of rods and reels fitted with bare hooks and tungsten jigs. I felt a little apprehensive as the memory of my last ice fishing expedition to Crappie Bay came to mind. It was a debacle! Everything that could possibly go wrong did. I will spare you the details as it is a long story, but trust me; the ice fishing expedition was a disaster. Also, I had the newly installed drill on my ice auger. I learned from my hunting buddy Mike that the previous drill I used is the wrong model. The old drill lacked the torque to power the auger to break through the ice adequately. With cautious optimism, I set out on the ice to see what fortune would bring.
I set out for another fishing expedition Friday morning, determined to avoid any more misfortune. I picked up my boat in good time and was on my way to the W.A. Taylor Conservation Area for some pan fishing on the Rideau River. The plan was to stop at Manotick Bait & Tackle to pick up worms, minnows and a couple of slip bobbers on the way to the river. Manotick Bait & Tackle opens at 7:00 am. I got to the bait shop at about 7:45 am and was greeted by a man seated in a pickup truck. He told me the bait shop was closed; that the owner would be there at 8:30. “So much for avoiding misfortune,” I thought. I noticed the pickup truck had logos for various fishing tackle and boat companies. While I waited for the owner of the bait shop to arrive, the man seated in his pickup truck told me he is friends with the owner and had come up from Seeley’s Bay to see him. As we waited for the bait shop owner to arrive, we chatted about fishing, life and the vagaries of fortune. Continue reading