Saturday, February 06, 2010

Ice Fishin'

I have always been fascinated by ice fishing. I see the mysterious little houses on the frozen lakes each year and am curious as to who, what and why.
Who goes out onto the frozen lake?
What do they do in there?
Finally, I got up the gumption to stop and take some photos...
I stopped by Highland Lake in Andover on a beautiful but cold, sunny day.
I saw a lot of activity out there on the lake. Now, we spend a lot of time on lakes in the summer, but have never set foot on one past September!
But that doensn't stop these die hard fisherman. They take their houses, trucks and gear out on a frozen lake and spend hours, if not days out there!
The ice houses or "shanties" can be as simple or as luxurious as you can imagine.

Here are two that seem to have all the comforts of home.
At its most basic, it does 2 things: gives shelter from the wind & keeps heat inside.
Then, some people add stoves, tvs, chairs, radios, couches, etc.

Ice fisherman enjoy it for the solitude and the challenge.
They start out bundled up with all their gear. They drill a hole through the ice until the see open water. They widen the hole with a chisel and start to fish. They spend the day clearing the hole from the slush that forms and fishing, waiting to a bite.
Best of all, there are no mosquitos that accompany warm weather fishing!

Ice safety:
Aside from the obvious here are some tidbits:
Test random patches of ice with an auger or axe, making test holes as you travel.

A minimum of 4-6 inch thickness of ice can support a few well dispersed people.
6-7 inches can support small group activities
8-10 inches can support a snowmobile
Ice is thinner where there is moving water, near bridges, islands and objects that protrude through the ice.
Avoid ice that is cracked, honeycombed, dark ice and dark snow.


Laurie said...

I have been ice fishing, and hated it. Too cold and very boring.

M said...

If you want to go ice fishing, I am sure Brian will take you! You can catch a nice salmon or trout!