Just a warning. This post is very picture heavy, but after all of the questions I got last year after our ice fishing trip I wanted to show everything. If you happen to be on a dial-up connection (do those even exist anymore?) it may take a while to load all of the pictures, but it's worth it.
With the warm weather over the weekend we decided to go out for our annual ice fishing excursion on my in-laws' pond. My brother met us out there and brought all of his fancy ice fishing equipment including a 2 person collapsible shack and we brought the Gardener's green machine for transportation to and from the pond.
My in-laws' pond is full of blue gills, and bass and a couple of other pan fish types and frozen this time of year. Uncle T set up some tip-ups to hopefully catch some of the bigger fish but we didn't have much luck with them. We had one flag go up but the fish came off the hook. Or so I'm told. I don't know a whole lot about the sport.
While a few of us were setting up for fishing, the Gardener and his dad (and little farm dog, Shadow) drove around the pond with their snow plows and cleared a path on the ice all the way around the pond and to most of the holes we drilled.
Once we started fishing with those short ice fishing rods (apparently the technical term is jigging) we caught a big crappie (pronounced craw-pee). We let it go back into the water along with the rest of the fish we caught that day. We don't eat them and my father in law didn't feel like going through the work of cleaning them all, but they were fun to catch.
Uncle T's shack with the top down.
And this is what it looks like with the top up. And yes that is my brother cracking open the first beer of the day. He said his friends give him a hard time when he gets out all of his gear. They refer to his area as a refugee camp. I can't say that I completely disagree.
This little toy sitting inside the shack is called a Vexilar. It's a depth finder that actually displays (with lights) where your hook and wax worm are and where the fish are. Really cool and almost like cheating since you can position your line right where the fish are.
Binny and Mae each had a turn to fish in the shack with me and uncle T. He had the heater going for us (see I told you he has LOTS of ice fishing gear) so it was nice and toasty in there.
Before we started packing up for the day, Uncle T insisted that I try out the hand auger to drill a hole.
Even with brand new blades it was still a lot harder than it looks. The ice was about 18 inches thick.
After I caught my breath from drilling one hole, we started packing up.
I called the Gardener down (from in the house. He was thawing and drying out after getting his 4 wheeler stuck in the creek.) to tow us back up to the house for lunch.
It was fun. Thanks Uncle T and Grandpa Bern for a fun ice fishing day!