Mark has been telling me how much fun ice fishing is for the past couple of years. In the winter months he and his buddies get their fishing poles ready, bundle up in cold weather duds, grab the ice hut and beer and head to a local lake or farm pond on a pretty regular basis. He always comes home in a good mood (maybe it’s partly the beer) bragging about how many fish he caught compared to the other guys. They tell the story differently, of course.
It’s always sounded like fun and I wanted to try it sometime, but I truly don’t like be to cold and thought that sitting on a frozen lake getting wet fish off a hook would be miserable. But this past Sunday I decided to give it a try. The temperature was a balmy 46 degrees, which after the sub-zero temps we’ve had lately felt like a heatwave. Yes, it was really windy, but the ice hut would block the wind. So we went. We went to a local farm pond, parked the truck and put our gear (fishing poles, bucket for the fish, auger, wax worm bait and beer) into the ice hut bottom and pulled it all out onto the ice. Mark used the auger to drill three holes in the ice. It was about 15 inches deep. We set up the ice hut, climbed in, zipped it shut and got the poles out. I got a lesson in ice fishing…letting out the line, watching for the bobber to pull, setting the hook and reeling one in. I caught my first fish fairly quickly, within about 5 minutes of putting my first line in the hole. Pretty exciting! I caught my second fish shortly after that, then about 10 more within an hour or so. Mark was catching them too and we had quite a haul when we left 2 hours later. It was fun! My feet were the only part of me that got a bit cold at the end of the outing, but otherwise I was comfortable and warm the entire time. Who knew that I could actually enjoy ice fishing!? We packed up and came home.
Mark set out to clean the fish and I offered to help. So he filleted them and I ribbed them. I think he was surprised that I would actually handle a fish. Please…I was a girl scout! We had about 25 fish total, mostly bluegill and a couple of crappie. Last night we fried some up and had them for dinner. Delicious!
Just another fun Iowa adventure! Oh yeah…and I think I caught more than Mark. 🙂