I was first introduced to ice fishing as a youngster at my dad's place in Shell Lake Wisconsin. Since then, I have always had a passion for punching holes through the ice. When I was 12ish, my dad bought me a small two-man portable icehouse where I spent hours and hours trying to catch the ever-elusive walleyes and northerns that lurked the depths of the ice-covered lake.
When I first started, I did not have an auger, so I had to seek out holes that had been abandoned by other fisherman. I remember always looking for the ones that had blood around them, as blood meant the other fisherman was successful or something went horribly wrong. With luck, the holes would only be lightly frozen over and I could usually punch back through with the heel of my foot, other times some fisherman would drill holes for me. At some point I acquired a hand auger and began punch my own holes!
My fondest memories of that era was fishing with my brother Bob, or my friend Tom, up at my dad's place. We would go out and set up our tip ups and head back to the cabin to watch them. When a flag went up we would run to the tip up a couple hundred yards away. The first one to the tip up got to pull up the fish. We would do whatever it took to be the first one to the hole, there was pushing, tripping and wrestling involved along the way and often times the fish was long gone by the time we got there. Later, the actually running part was replaced by snowmobiles but still the first one there got to pull up the fish. We would race up to the holes, dive off our snowmobiles trying to time our slide so we would stop right at the hole. Our sleds would finally come to a stop hundreds of feet later.
|The scenery was incredible!|