Saturday, February 22, 2014

My Love Of Ice Fishing & Its Misconceptions

I've fished since a very young age, but it's only been the last couple of years that I've really gotten into ice fishing.  When some people hear that I love to ice fishing I'm usually greeted with blank stares or looks of disbelief.  After all what sane person would trek across ice in freezing weather in the hopes of landing a fish and call it fun?

As it turns out, there are many of us.

The thing about ice fishing is it's not at all like it seems.  Here are some common misconceptions and my response to them:

1. But I'll freeze
Not so if you are smart about it.  If you dress for the weather with a good winter jacket, snow pants and boots built for cold weather, you'll be fine.  And for those really cold days most of us have shelters we use with heaters inside that are great for warming up or even for fishing in.

2.  It's boring
Ice fishing is fun when you first off, go where the fish are and the action you'll get is pretty exciting and secondly, when you don't approach your time on the ice as a Lone Ranger does.  When I'm out on the ice I never go alone, there's usually a crowd of family and friends and we talk, share food, cheer each other on when someone calls 'fish on' and make it about community, not just sport.

3.  It's dangerous
Again not so if you are smart about it.  Going ice fishing in warmer climates where lakes see little ice is a no-no, as is going on rivers with strong currents or on water connected to a dam.  Where I live it gets pretty cold in the winter and with the cold weather comes a few feet of ice on the lake, which is more than enough to support people, trucks, I've even seen a helicopter land more than once without breaking through.  Pick a lake that you know gets more than a few inches or ask around to see where locals leave their huts and you can find a good, safe spot.

My closing adage is don't knock something until you try it!

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