Wil Wegman says in his article on ice fishing on Lake Simcoe in Lake Simcoe Living Magazine, Winter 2009/2010, page 18, and I quote, “Lake Simcoe has been recognized as one of the finest winter fisheries in all of North America. There are more anglers on the 722-square-kilometre lake during the winter than in all other seasons combined."

"Many winter anglers have their own ice hut, but lots of people walk or snowmobile out on the lake, where they fish on the open ice or from portable ice shelters. For thousands of visitors to Lake Simcoe, the convenience of renting an ice hut from one of the many operators around the lake is hard to beat.

"No matter which way you chose to ice fish on Lake Simcoe, the important thing is that you do it safely, have fun and follow the regulations.” End of quote from Lake Simcoe Living Magazine, Winter 2009/2010, page 18.

Now that just about all the boats and docks on Lake Simcoe are put away for the winter, the ice fishermen are getting their gear together and predicting what kind of a year this will be for the sport that they love.

When I spoke to my friend Herb, he told me that he can hardly wait for the ice to form. His snowmobile is tuned up and ready to go. He says that if you have a snowmobile or four-wheeler it is much easier to get out onto the ice early in the morning on a cold day.

“You need an ice auger to make a hole in the ice and you fish with jigging sticks or rods. You must layer your clothing, wear warm socks, good waterproof boots and invest in a flotation suit for your own safety. You’re allowed to catch two white fish and two trout each day. Sometimes you catch them in no time and other times you don’t catch a fish all day. It depends on just where the fish are."

Fishing on Lake Simcoe is a $20-million-year business. I can’t imagine why, but when Herb drops off a fresh filleted fish for your dinner and you taste it, all of a sudden you know the reason why. M-m-m yummy!

I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you about “The Last Blast” that took place in October at the Simcoe County Museum. The Historical Construction Equipment of Canada and the Simcoe County Museum co-host this event.

Originally a day to winterize the steam-powered equipment, “The Last Blast” is held to showcase the collection of old machinery through live reenactments. Old shovels, trucks, tractors, bulldozers and diggers are all fired up and in action down at the sand pit at the back of the museum property.

It is a day when old timers reminisce and interested parties love to watch. There are smiles a mile wide on everybody’s faces. Without this organization of dedicated people who keep restoring artifacts back to their original glory much of this old machinery would have been lost.

There are displays of old tools and toys. At the end of the day the equipment is parked in the sheds at the museum for the winter. Then in June there is a two day event called, Wheels and Tracks.

Watch for it at the Simcoe County Museum. It’s a great place to take children and grandparents for an outing.