Eat those words, one by disgraceful one.
If you have kids, you know that any time you begin a sentence with “I would NEVER do that!”, you will eventually DO THAT.
And so it goes with ice fishing. My son, Dennis, would rather ice fish that do just about anything else. In the winter, that is. In the summer, he would rather fish than do just about anything else. Okay, there is a theme here.
I usually sit inside our camp, toasty warm, probably with a fire going, and watch as Dennis uses a manual auger to drill the holes, at 8 am on a weekend, when other teenagers are sleeping in till noon. It doesn’t matter if it is 20 degrees out, or 10 below. It doesn’t matter if the wind is blowing or if it is calm. Snow? Just means you have to shovel off a bit before you drill your holes. You have to take off your gloves at times, and water sloshes around. Most everything is wet, and then frozen.
Seriously? Why? What is the attraction? And so I proclaimed “I would NEVER do that!”
This past weekend I abdicated from weekend work, and bundled up to join both of my guys on the ice. It was a sunny day, and the wind was subdued. Stephen and Dennis were not in their usual spot right in front of our camp, but instead had moved farther out, past the tiny island on Loon Lake, in the same spot where someone last year pulled out a HUGE walleye. They had 10 tip-ups in, simple contraptions that will let you know if something has taken your bait by sending a flag into the air.
The lake was full of other groups also ice fishing. One couple was out, she on ice skates, him on a four-wheeler. There was a family near them, and the five year old daughter was the one to pull out a fish when their tip-up hit: “Daddy! Daddy! A fiiiiiish!” And then there was a large group of families, pop-up shanty in case it got windy, snowmobile, four-wheeler, and loads of tip-ups. They had a fire going – ON THE LAKE! – and when they caught a 4 lb. walleye, they cooked it up immediately. We could all smell it across the lake!
I hung out with Stephen and Dennis for a while, then went for a walk in the northern bay. When I came back, Stephen had made a pit stop to get me a glass of wine. After a few hours, I walked back into the camp. The guys were going to wait until it got dark. That is often when the fish will “hit”.
New winter love.
You should try it!