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Martin Vaillant’s ice fishing
05 February 2018

In February 2017, Martin Vaillant, fishing guide and columnist for Sentier Chasse et Pêche Magazine, spent a stay at the outfitter and shares these fishing techniques with us here.

You can follow him on the facebook page of his new fishing show SOS Pêche


Martin Vaillant

February 15th ·2017

Lots of questions about the techniques and lures I used at Pourvoirie Du Lac Berval. Here is, as promised, a short summary of my tests and the results obtained.

– I arrived Monday noon at the outfitter, so I fished for a little two hours in the afternoon. I installed 5 rods in depths of 8 to 15 feet, 4 of my modified brimbales and 1 jigger. I rode 2 rods with just a hook, a sinker 2 feet below and a worm. The other 2 rods I chose to use pink and white Atomic teasers without any bait. In 2 hours 6 attacks on the atomic teasers for 0 boarding on the ice, 1 attack on the worms for 1 trout of 12 inches on the ice. 0 trout on my jigger with atomic teaser that I had in hand during the 2 hours.

The next morning with the weak results of the day before, I decide to make some modifications. I keep a rod with atomic teaser, 1 with the worm and 2 that I ride with pink and white Power Nymphs. Quickly I have 4 attacks on the pink Power Nymphs but only 1 beautiful trout of 2.14 lbs was thwarted. I quickly change my 4 rimbales with Power Nymph and I put a piece of corn on 2 of them and a worm on the 2 others. The attacks multiply quickly on the 2 rods with corn and the average rises to 3 attacks out of 4 which ends with a trout instead of 1 out of 4. I therefore change the 4 rods for a Power Nymph with corn. While rummaging in my trunk I find a small jar of gulp alive imitation corn, I install it on 2 canes and keep two canes with the real corn. 30 seconds later I have a big attack on the gulp, a nice 3.4lbs trout. At this point I change my jigger for a pink 1/32 jig head and a pink Power Nymph has lived which I add a corn gulp. I didn’t need to change the rig until the end of the stay, the trout lined up one after the other with several specimens between 3 and 4.4 lbs! I caught a few trout on my jigger but the less I jigged it the more success I had, so I left it on its support without touching it. I had more attack in the end on the corn gulp than on the real corn, probably due to its slightly more fluorescent color.

Unlike usual, the closer the lure was to the bottom, the more success I had. A rather unusual pattern for rainbow trout which normally attacks more suspended lures and sometimes very close below the ice. The longer the week went on, the colder it got, until it reached -25°C on the last day. Every day I had to go deeper and deeper to be successful, so the last day I had to fish between 22 and 30 feet to be successful and oddly that’s the day I took my biggest!

I want to mention that this is not a usual patern for the rainbow. As for the lures yes it is as usual but for the depth of fishing it is rather rare. Usually we catch a lot more rainbows by vigorously jigging the lure on a small jigging rod between 2 and 8 feet under the ice, in this case it was quite the opposite, the less I moved the rod the more the lure was deeper… the more success I had. Always be careful when fishing, especially when fishing a stocked lake, trout habits can vary greatly depending on the arrival of trout and the longer they have been in the lake, the more they will take on typical trout behavior. Rainbow. The important thing if it does not work is to quickly adjust because they will not, it is you who must modify your approach.

Last point, noise on the ice usually attracts the rainbow, but during my stay, the simple fact of running towards a snag caused the trout to stop biting immediately, I had to arrive on tip of the feet so as not to frighten them. The day I had the least success was when a rather noisy group of snowmobilers came to set up near me.

I wish you a great fishing and thank you once again Pourvoirie Du Lac Berval for the great vacation! 🙂

P.S on the last photo you can see an example of my modified brimbale which gives me excellent results when the attacks are shy, very effective for walleye by the way! 😉 In addition, the fight on a small jigger rod is much more pleasant than pulling the wire of your brimbale with your fingers.


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