Ice Fishing

Discussion in 'Sports & Recreation' started by Ken Anderson, Mar 21, 2018.

  1. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    It's not really a sport, unless you consider fishing tournaments, and fishing isn't much in the way of recreation. It's more of a pastime. It might be considered a leisure activity, but it's certainly not one that is associated with retirement, so I guess this is as good of a place to put this as any.

    I haven't been ice fishing in a long time, not since I was a teenager living in the UP of Michigan. Although ice fishing is popular here in Maine, the fishing laws here are so convoluted that I am pretty sure I'd end up doing hard time in prison if I were to take it up here. The laws here are specific to which lake or waterway you are going to fish on, so something that would be legal in one lake would be illegal in another, etc. Besides, the fishing regulations require that you know what kind of a fish you're catching, and I'm not so familiar with Maine fish that I'd feel comfortable with that.

    If Michigan's other laws are an indication, Michigan's fishing regulations are probably just as complex as Maine's today but, in the Upper Peninsula when I was a teenager, we pretty much ignored most of them anyhow, with some exceptions.

    In Michigan, then, you needed a fishing license in order to fish. That part of it makes sense and it's pretty easy to understand. In Maine, you have to decide where you are going to fish and get a license to fish in that lake or on a specific point on that river. If the fish aren't biting, you can't just go to a better location. At any rate, I could get a Master's Degree with less study than it would require for me to understand the fishing laws in Maine.

    Anyhow, back to my story. When I was a teenager in Michigan, we needed a fishing license. We did that. With that fishing license, you could fish wherever you wanted to and for whatever kind of fish it was legal to fish for. There were specific seasons for specific types of fish, and that was easy enough to deal with.

    As a child and as a teenager, I hated most kinds of fishing. While a couple of my cousins fished, I rarely hung out with them when they were fishing. I thought it was boring and a waste of time.

    However, I enjoyed smelt fishing, largely because I could get a bucketful in about five minutes so there wasn't a lot of time wasted. But that's another story that I think I've told here in this forum before.

    I also enjoyed ice fishing. My dad had an ice fishing shack, which was a homemade wooden hut large enough to easily accommodate three or four people. I don't remember if it was his or if he borrowed it from someone, but I think he used the same shack in subsequent years. I'm thinking it wasn't his, because I don't remember seeing it stored anywhere on the property throughout the rest of the year. The shack was on skis so, given that they didn't used to plow roads down to the bare pavement then, it could be towed behind a truck to whichever frozen lake or river we wanted to fish on.

    The shack would be towed onto the ice. It had a partial floor, with an open space in the center where the hole would be drilled. Usually, the truck would stay parked right there, on the ice. Using an augur, my dad would cut a hole in the ice, largely centered in what would otherwise be a floor.

    Two sides of the shack had a bench, where we could sit while fishing, and a small wood cooking stove was on another side of the shack. This allowed us to cook the fish minutes after catching it. Dumping the remains back into the hole would attract more - and often larger - fish to the hole.

    A game warden would go from shack to shack from time to time, but most often there wasn't one around, so anything that was eaten before the game warden came around didn't count toward the limit. That part of it wasn't legal, I'm sure. But by the time we were done fishing, we were full and still had fish to bring home.

    Ice fishing was easy because you could sit down on a bench while doing it, and because fish are very hungry in the winter. It was warm because the wood stove heated the inside of the shack quite well. The fish tasted very good because it couldn't possibly be fresher. Ice fishing was my kind of fishing.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 21, 2018
  2. Harry Havens

    Harry Havens Well-Known Member
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    Enjoyed the read. Knew more than a few Yoopers, but never got there to try the ice fishing, although it sounded like a grand way to spend a cold day.
     
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  3. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    Yeah, that's the kind of fishing I could get into. I'm not much for standing in the water, or along the bank, with a fishing pole.
     
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  4. Martin Alonzo

    Martin Alonzo Veteran Member
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    Joke == Newfoundlander went ice fish and his wife nearly drown trying to cook it. Sorry for the old Newfy joke but I still laugh
     
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  5. Von Jones

    Von Jones Veteran Member
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    A little tidbit about fishing in Michigan we learned just today when the topic came up. We were told that one type of fish was limited to 5 which was Pike. o_O I'm so glad we didn't catch anything when we were there.:rolleyes:
     
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