I have decided I’m going to try something new this year. I am going to go ice fishing. The boyfriend has been before, but I have only ever been fishing in the summer. So I thought why not give this a try? As a Canadian I should take advantage of winter sports and gosh darn it that’s what I’m going to do!
So we purchased our outdoor cards and fishing licenses. We also bought a bucket full of items to help us on our adventure. Now I honestly have to admit I know practically nothing about fishing. When I was younger my dad would set my hooks, have me bait them and then cast it out into the water. Then we’d wait for a bite and slowly reel it back in. So the actual way to use most of these tools is lost on me. The boyfriend promises to teach me all he knows, so I am expecting to learn a lot.
I was really excited to look at my Ice Fishing Kit. First off I’m amazed by the ingenuity of the 6 gallon bucket. Not only is it a bucket, but it has a built in seat with a case for lures. I marvel at how masters of this sport have made things easier and more comfortable for themselves with simple fixes.
A wire rod holder is the next neat item. Just by placing the wire on the lip of the bucket you can balance your rod over the hole with ease. This allows you a steady line while you wait for that bite.
I feel that is what makes fishing so exciting, the waiting. Just like the lottery you’re hoping for a big catch and once it bites you don’t know what is on the other end til you reel it in. Either you have a “play again” tiny fish or the “jackpot” big fish on the end of the line. Not knowing what’s on the other end is all the fun.
The other small items were two lures, two hooks, four weights, three bobbers and an ice skimmer. All of these tools have their uses at attracting our fishy prey, but they are nothing without a rod.
The kit came with two designs for rods. The first one is called a tip up. Upon asking the boyfriend how this design works I surmised a basic description. You set your line and bait your hook, but this square contraption has a lever that you put over a catch attached to a spring with a flag. Once this is set you place the tip up over the hole with the line and hook down inside. Once you get a bite the catch releases and the flag pops up to let you know to reel up your catch.
The second rod is called a medium combo rod. To me this just looks like a mini version of the rods I used to use. I commented as such and it was confirmed that all ice fishing rods are smaller. This is because they are “jigging” rods which is the art of lowering and raising the lure in the water. Both methods seem very relaxed and calming.
So after getting the gear I had to know the basic rules. We needed at least four inches of ice and clear ice is the best. Each person can have two lines out and you only use one line per hole. So I asked, “well how do a group of people go out and have fun if they have to watch their own holes? ”
The answer, in its basic form; you go out, drill your hole with a tool called an auger, put in your tip up line or balanced jig rod and sit back, talk and wait. “In the cold?” I asked, hoping that I would hear of a nice warm hut to hide in.
” Well you can register a hut, but it’s ice fishing, you’re going to be cold and we don’t have a hut do we?” That was my reply, I shiver still thinking about it. However, I have sworn to try this once and I will stand by my choice.
Who knows I might catch a big fish and have a ton of fun. Besides I’m Canadian, I know how to dress for the cold. This is my chance to walk on water, even if it’s frozen. Wish me luck and maybe you’ll see some fishy pictures in blogs to come.
~ The Incidental Scribe