Getaway to Mountain Lake
Lakers, whitefish and more on a pristine Haliburton lake
Based at Ogopogo Resort, Outdoor Canada checks out the lake trout action and other winter fun
Last March I had the chance to visit Ogopogo Resort just outside Minden, Ontario, for some ice fishing in pristine Mountain Lake. This deep, clear lake in Ontario’s hilly Haliburton County boasts a strong natural population of lake trout, along with whitefish.
Within minutes of arriving, I’d geared up and headed out to my ice hut. How did I get to the action? I walked, because the lake’s hottest spot for lakers is literally just 100 metres away from Ogopogo’s cabins. This is the view from shore, past the resort’s rink and out to the fishing spots.
I didn't get any whitefish, but another guest landed the absolute bruiser above. Though it didn't take long before I was into some trout. My typical laker arsenal includes tube jibs, Williams Ice Jigs and swimbaits, but this guy (below) took a simple hook and minnow.
Here’s a typical wintertime haul from Mountain Lake. There's a slot limit for lakers protecting fish between 40 and 55 centimetres. So the bigger ones go back, but the 12- to 14-inchers make fine table fare. This is also a great place for late-season lakers. In much of Ontario the lake trout season closes in mid-March, but Mountain Lake is open until March 30.
Usually I fish hard-core with no hut. But during my visit the mercury dipped to -15°C, so I was glad for my cozy heated hut (above, left). And my well-appointed housekeeping cabin (including linens), was downright luxurious (above, right). Between the easy-access fishing, pretty trout and my accommodations, I was pretty reluctant to return to the real world when my weekend ended.
For summertime visitors, Mountain Lake also has a great population of smallmouth bass and even and hefty tiger muskies (above)—the hybrid offspring of muskie and pike.
Here’s a view of Ogopogo’s rink and cabins taken in early evening. But no photo can really capture the still, silent and crisp beauty of that moment—it was incredible to experience. By the way, for those in your family less enthusiastic about ice fishing, Ogopogo also has skating, cross-country skiing dog-sledding and more. For winter weekend packages contact Ogopogo Resort at 1-866-405-8938 or firstname.lastname@example.org. And a very big thanks to owners Katherine and Todd Wootton for their fantastic hospitality. Believe me, they’ll do everything they can to make you feel at home.