Press Lake Camp
Fishing and Hunting Camp

February 25, 2024 – What a Strange Winter!

Posted on February 25, 2024

Hi All,

Well since my last post, our weather hasn’t gotten any more normal. All through January and now February, we have seen unseasonably warm temperatures and virtually no snow. There have been cold periods where the temps drop to -15 F or so for a day or two, but then without fail it warms right back up and highs during day have been consistently above 32. It seems we lose a little more snow each day and it has been weeks since we had any accumulation at all. It has made travelling with a snowmachine very difficult, although still possible as we have maybe 6″ of snow in the shade and just enough on the lakes to get around. Ice levels are considerably lower than normal, but without much snow the little cold we have had has been able to penetrate and we have enough to safely get around, usually 12-18″. Currently we are forecasted to get close to a foot of snow on tomorrow and Tuesday, so we may see a little bit of winter weather yet. As much as we need the snow, I had plans to drive into camp at the end of next week and spend the weekend, so we may be looking at a change of plans if the weather hits. Currently you can drive a truck down just about any road you want to, and this is the first time in my life that I have ever seen it like this in February up here.

As strange as the weather has been this winter however, we certainly can’t complain about how nice it’s been to get outside! Lindsay and I have enjoyed quite a few day trips out fishing so far and one camping trip for two nights on the ice. We have hit a variety of lakes and have enjoyed catching a number of the different species available to us in the area including walleye and lake trout, and stocked splake and brook trout. We were fortunate to bring home a really nice limit of brook trout on our camping trip and we couldn’t believe the colour gradient of the flesh between fish, and how shockingly bright red some of them were:

Here are a few pics of some of the splake and walleye we brought home from other trips as well:

I also spent 4 days on the ice on an annual fishing trip I do with some buddies near Thunder Bay. We have been learning the lakes in the area so generally the trip has been more about comradery and the evening beers than it is about the fishing, but this year we actually caught quite a few fish. We had some crappy weather that went from very warm and sunny to rainy the next day, so there was very little snow to travel on between lakes and a lot of standing water on top of the ice. As a result, we only fished the lake that we were staying on and tried some new spots. We found some very aggressive schools of lakers and were actually able to limit out twice! And of course, we still had plenty of beer in the evenings – haha.

Aside from the weather and the fishing, we have been enjoying our off season and a bit of relaxation before we get busy again in the spring. We don’t have any travel plans to head south this winter and have been happy to be spending a little less time on the road this year. However, we are headed down to the Toronto area for 2 weeks to visit family in early March. Mom will be joining Lindsay and I going down so she can visit her brother in Kitchener, while Lindsay and I head to Oshawa to see my side of the family. It will be a nice trip seeing everyone and we are a little overdue to get down there.

Our schedule is incredibly full for the 2024 season, so we would like to extend a big thank you to everyone booked with us! We really appreciate everyone riding out Covid and sticking it out with us through everything. It really feels like we are back to “normal” and we couldn’t be any happier seeing everyone annually again. By the time we left last fall the lake levels had dropped to the lowest I have ever seen them, beating the previous all time low of 3 seasons ago. I am worried that if we don’t see some snow by spring, or get a LOT of rain, we are going to have some lake level issues this year. But a lot can change between now and then, so lets just hope for some precipitation. For those who have been following along with our hunting journal from this year, I am hoping to get another instalment wrote and up this week.