Despite the prime conditions in the province, the number of people ice fishing is down as much as 30 per cent from last year in some areas.

The number of ice-fishing shacks in the Kennebecasis Bay off of Renforth is down considerably.

Gary Gower

Gary Gower is the president of the Renforth Fishing Association. (CBC)

"This year is a bit of an exception with the weather we had, but normally we have between a 100, 120 shacks down here," said Gary Gower, president of the Renforth Fishing Association.

But this year, despite an early winter and good ice conditions, only about 85 shacks sit off the shore.

Gower blames extreme temperature shifts for the lower numbers.

"Better ice, a thicker ice, stronger ice and some of the best fishing down here is in a snow storm for some reason," said Gower. "I don't know what it does to the fish. It seems to stir them up."

He says ice conditions are perfect and the fishing has never been better.

Dwight Conwell

Fisherman Dwight Conwell says what the fish lack in numbers this year, they make up for in size. (CBC)

"The fish are larger, but the fish are there," Gower said. "There's all kinds of fish."

Fisherman Dwight Conwell says there are fewer fish being caught this year, but the fish are larger.

"In previous years they're quite small, four to six inches and we caught lots of them," said Conwell. "You know, it's nothing to pull 150 out in a day.

"This year, we're lucky if we get 25, but they're larger size so we're doing well."

Fishermen like John Zed say that they're catching more than just the traditional species. 

"We've had other things come out of the hole, not just smelt, I believe somebody caught a dogfish last week."