Walking on Water

Posted by MNAngler On December - 17 - 2009

When you live in Minnesota, your fishing season is only half that of those in Southern states. That is, unless you are one of the many who turn the handicap into an asset.

When the sun gets low in the sky and the weather gets cold, a transformation takes place. Liquid turns to solid and mere mortals can do the impossible. People just like you and me can walk on water.

I speak, of course, of lakes turning to ice. And so begins the season of ice fishing.

We’re firmly entrenched in the holiday season and winter has taken hold here in Minnesota. After a wet, wet October, and an unseasonably warm November, temperatures are finally down to “normal”. Now it’s a waiting game until the ice is thick enough to walk, or even drive, on. It shouldn’t take long because temperatures have been in the 20s (Fahrenheit) during the day and below 0 overnight.

Those of you South of the 35th parallel may think I’m crazy talking about driving on lakes, but I kid you not. You just have to be aware of the ice thickness guidelines. Lest you think I’m pulling your leg, I’ll post pictures later in the season.

In all my years of fishing, I’ve never been much of an ice fisherman. The reason is the same by which I’m not a still fisherman (fishing with a bobber). I like to travel around the lake, toss out a variety of baits, and see what hits. To be stuck in one place over one hole just doesn’t appeal to me.

That being said, however, I don’t have the right set up either. Many ice fisherman sit in ice houses that are castles on the ice. They have lazy boys, heaters, satellite tv, and even beds. The beds become necessity when the walleye don’t start feeding until 2am.

My only real ice fishing adventure was a few years ago when my brother was home over Christmas. We stayed at my dad’s cabin in Northwest Wisconsin and used a hand auger to drill holes. We only had a rudimentary ice house, so we weren’t out on the ice for more than a few hours each day. The picture below is my one and only catch on the ice.

Monster perch!

This year, Mark promised to take me out ice fishing on some local lakes. I hope to report better results than the outing above, but frankly, I don’t know how patient I’ll be. I don’t mind the cold of winter having grown up here, but I can only take so much sitting watching drilled holes freeze back over.

If nothing else, I hope to come back with some pictures of some of the ice houses I encounter. You won’t believe your eyes.

P.S. Happy birthday to my uncle and cousin who share the day today!

3 Responses to “Walking on Water”

  1. Optimista says:

    I knew about driving on the ice, but HEATERS? That sounds like Darwinism at work.

    • MNAngler says:

      Ice doesn’t melt as fast as you might think. The heaters can be on all night without issue. We’ll have heaters in our shelter when we go out tomorrow.

  2. […] with such poor action, it was still a good time. When I said in an earlier post that I didn’t have the right set up, I didn’t know how right I […]

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