Iowa winters can be cold and long. Depending on the thickness of your skin, you either enjoy them or wish for warmer days. I have always enjoyed hunting in the cold and snow, but my desire to launch my bass boat at ice out kept me wishing for warmer days. That was before I got bit by the ice fishing bug.
There are people who ice fish and then there are ice fishermen. Ice fishermen are the guys who head North to find safe ice until it is available at home. Admittedly, I am not an ice fisherman. After spending a day on the ice with some good buddies who are, I now aspire to be.
The day started early. I think there was only one other group on the lake before us. It was early enough that we couldn’t have shot if we were duck hunting. So, it was dark.
I am a little timid on ice until I know the thickness. These guys are not so timid, but they live by the “Safety First” motto, so they drilled holes to check thickness as we ventured out. Knowing we had 6-7″ of good ice under our feet made me feel a lot better.
When we got where we wanted to be, we drilled several holes and dropped Vexilar transducers in the water to look for brush piles. Once we had enough holes, and marked fish, it was game on. This particular morning was quote chilly, so it didn’t take too long for everyone to pull their shelters over and turn their Mr. Heaters on. There is no sense in getting cold when you have the equipment to stay warm.
For the next few hours, we shared a lot of stories, some good laughs, and even managed to catch a few fish. A good time was had by all.
As the bite slowed we all agreed it was time to head back to the shop for some food, drinks, and a little college basketball.
The time at the shop was every bit as fun as the time on the ice. More stories, more laughs, and deliciously prepared fish. Just thinking about that fish makes my mouth water!
A day on the ice with the right equipment and some good buddies is tough to beat. I look forward to many more days just like this one!
As you head out to enjoy your days on the ice remember, “Safety First”.