Deep Winter: Ice Fishing

Monday, January 14, 2013
Maybe it's just me, but it feels as though this winter has been whipping by at record speed. I suppose that's the price I pay for getting older - each season becomes a smaller and smaller fraction of the life I've lived. I've also been gone a fair amount over the last few weeks (two trips to the Cities, crafting weekend, not to mention the holidays) and travel always speeds up the passage of time. Happily, I'm slated to be home for the next few weeks and I'm looking forward to settling back into everyday life, tackling some big work projects, restocking the freezer with homemade bread and marinara, and spending some of these deep winter days with Andy at the fishing hole.

The lake trout season outside of the Boundary Waters opened up on Saturday, which is always nice because it means we can just head out the front door with the ice fishing gear and set up for an hour or two. The Boundary Waters isn't far off, but it's still a bit of a trek with all the gear, a trek that Andy and I made last Wednesday.

The first ice fishing trip of the year seems destined to be a dud. Although this spot served us well last winter, we did not come home with a fish dinner, in fact, we got nary a bite. Last year, we enjoyed -0 temperatures during our first ice fishing expedition and also got skunked. This year it was a good 30 degrees warmer but so windy, the thought of jigging by a hole was laughable. Instead, we spent a lot of time tending the fire, drinking hot chocolate, and peering across the wind swept lake to search for an orange tip-up flag fluttering in the stiff breeze. (We never did see those tip up flags - a couple even got buried by drifting snow.)
Even though we came home fish-less, it's so important to stay active during the winter. Not only is it good exercise, it also helps elevate moods and combat winter blahs. While my knee-jerk reaction to winter is to hole up with a good book, several HBO series, and a bunch of knitting, that's usually not what I really need. 

How are you spending these deep winter days? I know it's a little ridiculous to refer to this as "deep" winter when it looks like early November in most of the country. Over the weekend we were treated to lovely ice storm here in northeastern MN, which means it was raining in January. Oy vey! I am a-okay with a low snow winter, but I do not care for my driveway being turned into a skating rink.


  1. Here is Texas, it never gets cold enough to freeze over an entire lake (which in our area are few and far between anyway)! I don't like the cold, but have always found ice fishing interesting!

  2. I am so curious about ice fishing. At least once I would like to experience it. The only fishing experience I ever got was when I crossed the Atlantic on a yacht. The fish were attracted by the position lights and landed on board. No hook, catch etc needed. I simply collected them. Very grateful though as fresh food is scare during the crossing. Paula

  3. Ok so it's about 60 degrees here and I think that's pretty cold fishing probably will never happen in my neck of the woods :) I'll have to leave it to the pro's = YOU

  4. I just found your blog and got all excited because I'm actually moving to northern Minnesota next month. Even though everyone keeps telling me how much it snows there and how depressed I'm going to be (pfft) I'm actually really excited to do things like snowshoe and icefish.. which I've never done before. You've also cemented my suspicion that there are a ton of outdoor things to do up there which I'm really looking forward to!

  5. oh man I'd be fine if winter wanted to whip its way by even faster haha. I feel the same way about keeping busy- a friend of mine and I signed up for a community ed tap dancing class... should be interesting!

  6. I love how active you are in the winter with these sorts of activities! Seems so interesting- and exciting, even if you didn't catch a fish!


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