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> Huts out on the South Shore
walleyehunter
Posted: Jan 12, 2012 - 07:20 pm


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The big lake is showing that there can be some big variables when it comes to freeze-up this winter.

On the same day that West Nipissing Police were reporting a pair of snowmobilers breaking through and having to swim to safety, a South Shore guide was putting out his four-man huts on 12 inches of ice in front of his resort.

“We went out yesterday (Thursday, Dec. 29) in front of the camp and we had 10 to 12 inches of ice,” said Shawn Degagne, owner of Idle Tyme Fishing Camp on Waltonian Inn Drive. “I didn’t wander too far. I wouldn’t go running just anywhere right now. But I know we’re good where we have the huts.”

By Saturday, Degagne was working at putting his six-man overnight huts onto the lake not far from where he anchored in his 12-day huts in preparation for what he called a strong opening for his fishing season.

“It wasn’t looking very good for a while but we got enough cold weather to get out there,” said Degagne.

The larger six-man huts are a little closer to home this year though. Normally Degagne puts them out by Lonely Island to the west of his camp.

“There was only two or three inches of ice down there, so they can stay here for now,” said Degagne.

Temperatures did drop Monday night, but people should still be checking out what’s underneath their feet, before venturing too far on the big lake.

Degagne has been operating for five years and says this is the latest he’s had to wait to set up.

“Usually we’re out there a long time by now putting everything in place. Instead this year we’re scrambling around at the last minute getting everything ready,” said Degagne, who had people arriving New Year’s Eve to start fishing as soon as the season opened.

Early in the season, Degagne says he pulls a lot of pickerel and perch through the ice with whitefish and herring starting to bite towards February.

“We had great fishing this summer. We did really well from the boat,” he adds.

And if the reaction to his setup is any indicator, there are plenty of people looking to wet a hook this winter.

“I think we’re the first ones out. We had a lot of guys coming down to check it out.”

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