January 18, 2011

Cold fish

Yesterday, I went ice fishing for the first time in my life.

There is a reason I've never gone: It sounds totally miserable!  Sitting in the bitter cold and wind...waiting...waiting... ... ... ... waiting...  Nope. That's just not for me.

But Todd, as you may guess, is a big-time ice fisherman.  He's from Wisconsin - it's in his blood!

When Todd and I were first dating he asked if I ice fished.  I gave an emphatic, "No way, Jose!" Then he told me he does it differently.  No sitting on buckets staring at a hole - another part of the miserable image I had in my head.  He has a shanty and uses heaters.

The idea dropped a notch on the misery meter.

Todd spends a lot of time working the lakes outside town and has gotten to know some folks, like, the family that owns basically the only gas station/convenience store in the area.  And it was this family we went with.

The other reason I've been hesitant to ice fish?  The ice.  I kind of freak out about going through it and dying in the icy depths below.  Todd again tries to assure me that it's at least 8 inches if not 12 inches thick and nothing's going to happen...but still...you never know.  And since we also didn't know exactly how far we were going out we loaded the 4-wheeler to head out on the ice.  I did it.  But I had to do some breathing exercises...

Fortunately, we didn't have to go too far.  We got off the 4-wheeler and Todd started drilling holes...

I got down to business pulling out the important stuff...

Nothing compliments ice fishing better than champagne!

So Rigby would have a place to warm his paws we brought his old mat and put it on the lid of the storage bin...

A quick view of where we were...

Ok, back to the real business at hand...clearing the holes of slush and ice...

A bite!  Doesn't Todd just look quintessential Wisconsin?

The big guy fought hard for a while.  Todd plunged his hand into the icy waters a couple times to try to bring him in...

The first fish of the night!  Yes, I said night.  We didn't get going until about 4 p.m. and we stayed out there until about 10 p.m.!  This Rainbow Trout was 20 1/2 inches!

Rigby was very intrigued by the fish's flopping...

Chase and Marty and their daughter Dawn joined us.  Todd asked them to bring a grill and they brought a full one!  We were thinking Coleman...they brought a grill master!  haha...

Here's my fish.  I hardly had to do anything to bring it in.  It fought a lot less than Todd's.  I only had to wind the reel a couple of times and bloop!  There he was!

Todd set up his shanty - which is huge and can easily fit six people - and the heaters and we warmed up while we sat listening to the weird growling/thumping sound of the ice growing.  I didn't know what it was and Todd told me it was the mermaids bowling.

I liked that idea better.

Would I go again?  Yep!  But I think I'd prefer the daytime!


  1. I always imagine the drilling the hole part would cause a giant spidery crack in the ice. Anyway, cool pictures (no pun intended.)

  2. I know! But nope! It just goes straight through and no cracking!

  3. Awesome pictures Kim! I tried ice fishing in high school a couple of times and never got the "fever" for it. Of course, we didn't have a shanty, just a bucket. Buckets suck, by the by.

  4. Yeah, Kelly. My luck it would be like that crazy squirrel on Ice Age. The crack goes right between his legs!


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