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Other Fishing Articles:
Keeper of the Keys
Loons on the Lake
An Open Letter
In a Hurry?
Finest of Times
Winter is on the retreat and the sun is starting to race to the
north. We’ve passed perihelion – the earth’s closest approach to the sun
– and the days are getting longer a few minutes at a time. Sounds like
Spring is just around the corner… Well, it’s a little further away than
that, but I can dream, can’t I? So what else is there to do in the waning
days of winter when cabin fever is about ready to drive you nuts? I would
say that it is high time to try some outdoor activities; how about a
little ice fishing?
used to be a “fair weather” fisherman, meaning that I only went fishing
when the weather was warm and I could get my boat out on the water.
But a couple of years ago I actually drove to northern Minnesota to
spend New Year’s Eve at a resort on Lake Kabetogama that stayed open all
winter . Since the lake was
sufficiently frozen and the temperature was not insanely cold, I decided
that as long as I was there, why not give it a shot? The owner was
kind enough to auger a couple of holes for me about a hundred yards out
and I dropped a line into the frigid water. All I had was a small
three-legged stool to sit on -- not even a wind-break -- and a small
child's pole that I adapted for the trip. I was thankful that there
was no wind on that particular day as I am sure that I would have lasted a
total of about 9 minutes outdoors in less favorable conditions. The
quiet was deafening and the serene solitude was incredible. I only
caught one perch that day, but it was I who actually got hooked.
Now, if you are going to get really
serious about this, there are a ton of things that you will need to
acquire... at least at some point in time. But most of you out there
who already are hooked on the fun of ice fishing know that. I'm
directing this at those of you who may not have tried this side of fishing
as of yet. My suggestion would be to simply check out some sites on
the Internet that advertise ice fishing -- and there are a bunch of them
-- and give them a call.
Here are a couple of places to start
Find a place that is not too far from
your home that will supply you with a heated shanty, equipment and bait
and give it a try. At this point in the winter, the ice on most
lakes is thick enough to at least be out on foot. Many are frozen to
a depth that will even allow vehicles to drive on it. But if you are
a rookie, DO NOT drive out onto any lake unless a knowledgeable guide from
that lake has first been consulted. I have heard far too many horror
stories about cars and other vehicles going through the ice! In any
case, this is a great way to help cure the winter blues. and fresh
fish from your favorite lake is still way better than anything that you
might purchase at your local market.
Winter sports are surely not for the
faint of heart. But if the hustle-bustle rat race and other stresses
have got you feeling that you want to scream, my suggestion would be to
head north for a little getaway. If fishing is not for you, try some
cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing or even snowmobiling. We have finally
gotten some snow in the mid-west and if you are anything like me, you've
been looking for the right excuse to get out of the house for a little fun
and some exercise. Before you know it, it will be time to head north
to your favorite fishing spot and some more summer fun. But why wait
for the summer? There are plenty of places out there with great
winter rates and winter is just as great a time to enjoy the out-of-doors
as the summer is. I've got a little trip planned in about two weeks.
Maybe I'll see you... On the Lake!