Thursday, January 27, 2011

Braving the elements...

The view after the storm and my limit...

Without any fishing buddies, I embarked on a solo ice fishing venture to my favorite trout hole.  I can't blame anybody for it was utterly and amazingly miserable.  But I would not be deterred simply because I wanted to go fishing.  So I set forth in the snow storm that had canceled school and was making headway speed topping out at 35 mph.  By 10:30 a.m. I had reached the landing and began the several hundred yard trek out to an ice shack owned by one of my former students.  Without his generosity, this day would not have occurred.  I suppose in life it's who you know and how you build lasting relationships.

Once out to the shack, my first plan consisted of building fire.  I had brought some of my own timber, basically to not feel like a complete mooch.  With the blaze starting, I commenced drilling five holes in a small circle just in front of the shack.  The wind was ripping and it was 20 degrees when I left home, the chill had no intentions of hiding.

The first flag...
After setting out one trap, I quickly returned to tend to the fire and begin the first of many back and forth scurries for the sake of warmth.  Apparently, no one was nearly as ambitious or clearly stupid as me for I owned the lake.  In terms of the fishing, the conditions were lousy.  Snow was on the ice, drifting snow fell into the hole, slush resulted, and things froze up.  Things weren't perfect, but it didn't matter for I was doing exactly what I wanted.

The first trout via lame self photo op...

With some diligence to the fire and continual maintenance of the gear subjected to the elements, time actually flew by.  I scored a nice ten inch brook trout early, then battled stolen baits & tripped flags.  Before I knew it, the cell phone read 12:56 p.m. and my intentions were to be finished in one hour with or without a limit.

Within the hour I cleaned the shack, extinguished the fire, and readied all the other gear for a faster transit to the landing.  The plan was to pull the jet sled around, toss the traps in without "frigging with the rigging", take a minute to warm up in the shack, and then navigate my way back to the truck.  Fortunately, I had another trout chasing a bait up the first hole so I quickly dropped it back down.  Within a minute, I had my limit.  But a minute of the elements meant a couple more in the shack.

10 inch and 10.5 inch brook trout limit
I eventually got back to the truck, battled some crazy snow drifts on the way back, and came home to meet two little girls who wanted to go outside because it had stopped snowing.  So I had a cup of coffee, and within minutes I was out in the elements again.

Take care,



  1. Nice catch! Be careful out there man! I don't want to see on the news that one of the world's greatest bloggers was found frozen in an ice fishing shack! :)

  2. Holy smokes man, it wasn't terrible but it wasn't a picnic either. At one point I was like Bear Grylls doing jumping jacks and eating birch bark for some vitamin C...

    Well I did some jumping jacks and drank an orange juice...

  3. Just so you know, I could have jumped in the golf cart, drove down to my Dad's, tied on a spinnerbait and hooked a few largemouth all without doing ANY jumping jacks while sipping on an icey cool one! It was cold here today, but not as cold as you! I do so admire your desire!!! Keep at it because I enjoy the read!

  4. It's a day out with my dad tomorrow, and hopefully taking out my pal's 5 year old for his first day out on the ice Sunday... The duck hunting boat is FROZEN in, out, and all through it...

  5. Hope you guys have fun! Temps here today in the low 60's. Me and the boy just may go wet a hook ourselves! I'll be sure to post pics!


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