Ice out update: April 16, 2014

by Gord on April 16, 2014



News Flash:  Remains of outfitter found on Delano Lake…suspected cause of death linked to never ending winter!

Well, things aren’t that bad yet but the skull is proof that long winters can be deadly.  Here’s a photo journal from today’s travel over four area lakes.





Pretty much all lakes are down to a skiff of snow over frozen slush / bare ice.  There are some signs of coming spring, such as the creeks that are starting to flow….



…and of course the evidence of a harsh winter such as this deer carcass on Delano Lake….


This weekend seems to be the turning point for winter to spring temperatures which is about time!  Mid 50 degree F. days predicted for next week will go a long way to getting us to ice out……Have your guess in yet?

{ 1 comment }

Ice out update: April 12, 2014

by Gord on April 12, 2014



Some warm weather this past week has taken it’s toll on the snow.  You can actually see some grass here and there.  Gull rock is showing it’s face and the gulls have arrived back from wherever they winter.  We’ve even seen the odd flock of geese flying about.  The lake has taken on a very slushy tone and I’ve avoided the temptation of getting stuck in it.  Right now we are into a cooling trend….things might firm up enough to catch a few perch tomorrow.



At least the road looks bare.  It also looks frozen on this cool Saturday morning.  Some snow in the forecast for today.  It looks like a good weekend to work on my taxes (or not!).

There’s still some dates open in the ice out contest.  Give me a shout if you feel lucky!


Ice Out Update, April 6 2014.

by Gord on April 7, 2014


Some subtle changes are occurring here on Eagle Lake.  Warmer temps and longer days are starting to make it feel like spring.


A foggy morning start to the day….



Wondering about the ice thickness?  An auger extension would be handy, but half of what might be ice is actually frozen slush and snow.



Conditions for sledding are good but things get a bit soft and warm in the afternoon.  Jason and Holly on a classic 1968 Polaris Charger.




Some perch and whitefish action in front of the lodge.






The evening before Cal Ritchie and I checked out a nearby spot where the walleye were biting.  Once you open up a hole things get a bit slushy.  Plenty of air holes are starting to be visible around the lake…..sure signs of spring melt.



Not much longer till we start seeing bare road.


Still some time to put in your ice out guess!


Post blizzard ice out update…

by Gord on April 1, 2014


ice out collage

I usually like to wait for some changes in ice melt before posting an update, but why not go in reverse?  More snow (14 inches!) has created the illusion that spring has avoided NW Ontario.  But never mind.  Like they say, “out like a lion, in like a lamb”.  I’m counting on seeing some sheep grazing the lawns here at the lodge very soon.  Till then here’s a few shots of the extreme spring of 2014.  Pictures were taken on April 1….and believe me this is not much of a joke.


I just couldn’t take it any longer.   The road was down to about 6 feet wide.  Time for the heavy equipment!



For those familiar with the Co-op in Vermilion Bay.  Some snow bank!


Never fear!  Spring will arrive.  You can count on high water levels, great fishing and owners happy to see some green grass, open water and warmer temps!


I really love having a tractor on days like these!

Have your Ice Out date picked yet?  You better get cracking.


Ice out 2014…an update.

by Gord on March 31, 2014



March 31, 2014


Winter is officially over…spring has arrived.  The question is “How do you have a winter storm warning when winter is over?”  The forecast is calling for over 30 cm. of snow for today….but what do I see on the horizon?  That’s right, warmer weather.  It can’t come too soon. 


Don’t forget about entering the ice out contest!  Send me your best guess for when Vermilion Bay will be ice free.  Stay tuned for more “ice out updates”!




It’s March 27 and the waves lap the shore, the birds are singing, and the owner is on crack.  Well, not really, but neither has winter released us from it’s grip.


Some have questioned the lack of posts.  What?  No ice fishing pics?  No ice out contest?  What are you doing up there?  Recovering from frost bite and getting myself into the “spring camp action mode”. 


Let’s take stock.  A cabin #4 renovation project started last fall was put on temporary hold during a cold November snap.  Unfortunately that cold snap has lasted till the end of March.


Is this the first guest of the season?  Nope, just me trying to remember where I left off down in cabin 4.


Oh, yea!  Now I remember…the screen porch has windows, and the interior wall has been partially removed.  While some may have found having a bathroom in a screened porch somewhat “brisk” on those chilly September mornings, I think it was likely invigorating.  All behind us now……let’s get this finished!


While we’re at it how about gutting cabin 7?


Perfect, not a wall left.  Now what?


Two loads of cabin 7 go for a final ride to the dump.  A fond farewell to that nice paneling…..


So back to reality.  When is ice out going to occur?  Who can predict the date on such an usual year???  The gantlet has been dropped.  It’s up to you to come up with an answer.  As usual the first to contact me via email ( or by phone ( 888-301-8229 ) and enter the correct date will be the winner of a fabulous prize (leftover paneling from cabin 7 perhaps?).

Pro Tip:  You only have one guess.  Do you wait to get the “lay of the land” and risk someone else scooping the right date?  Or, do you fly off the handle and just be the first to make a fool of yourself?

March 28.12

Just to remind you of the variables, here is what things looked like 2 years ago.  So pleasant….why is there no snow?

Pro Tip:  Don’t be fooled by this picture.  It is just Gord’s way of ensuring nobody wins the “fabulous prize”.


So, put on your thinking caps, polish up your crystal balls, buff your carrot, or whatever it takes to come up with the right answer!  Send me your guess.  As usual, anyone can enter.  The only stipulation is the “fabulous prize” must be picked up at VBL.  Good luck!


Vermilion Bay Kinsmen Winter Carnival

by Gord on February 21, 2014


What happens when you mix snow-machines, poker, fishing, dog sleds and “fish-less Hugh”?  Watch and find out…


Ice fishing in the “Arctic Vortex”

by Gord on January 26, 2014


Joe Feller with a nice Teggau Lake trout.

Conditions for ice fishing this winter have been somewhat challenging.  Cold temperatures, wind, lots of snow and now slush have reduced the fishing crowds to just a few brave, hardy souls.  I’ve put together a short video of some of the past few trips here at VBL…..


Giant "Bull" Yellow Perch FOUND in Eagle Lake!

January 15, 2014

Exciting year ahead at Vermilion Bay Lodge, including the Year Long “BULL” Perch Rodeo!

Read the full article →

Let the ice fishing begin…January, 2014

January 13, 2014

  The cold weather has finally broken allowing a foray onto the ice and snow….and there’s plenty of both.  A somewhat windy Sunday produced a few lake trout for dinner that night.  Jigging spoons was the only tactic we tried that day.   Fortunately for us, this nice rock cliff and nearby deep water was [...]

Read the full article →