Yesterday, amid lots of trepidation, we drove to Lake Jane to see our very first ice fishing contest that is sponsored by the local Lions Club.
There was no parking in the parking lot so we, gulp, were forced to drive onto the lake and park with hundreds of other cars. Feeling the sound of “crunch, crunch, crunch” beneath the car as we drove to find a parking spot, visions of a round circle of ice breaking off and plummeting into the water entered my mind. I quickly shook the thought away.
Getting out of the car, I noticed there were some spots of ice but mainly a coating of snow covered the ground.
We headed towards the massive amounts of cars/people that were in the middle of the lake.
People came prepared with food, bait, fishing rods and the Lions Club also had a tent that sold food as a fundraiser.
The day was perfect with blue skies hanging overhead. Although, it was a tad cold — 10° Fahrenheit. I came fully prepared with my Eddie Bauer coat (warm to -10°F), UGG boots, a ski mask, 2 leggings of thermal underwear and a warm scarf. Unfortunately, the gloves I purchased at Costco weren’t made for temperatures this cold so I stuck my gloved hands in my pocket.
The Lions Club prepares the lake for ice fishing by using auger’s to make holes in the ice.
One has to be careful while walking around that they don’t step into one of the fishing holes. And, of course, with my paranoia, that’s what I envisioned would happen to me (but it didn’t).
Some fishermen use a piece of equipment that they leave in the hole and when the red flag goes up it means a fish has been caught. This way they don’t have to stand/sit over their fishing hole and can walk around.
I walked over to a board that had the largest fish that had been caught today pinned to it. If I remember correctly, there is a $1000 prize for catching the biggest fish. So far, the Northern Pike (a species of fish) is what has been caught although one youngster caught a bass but he had to throw it back (rules don’t permit him to keep it).
This young man caught a “big” one that was pinned to the board. He told me it took him 5 minutes to catch it. I then turned around and said to my husband “See, that could have been us. A little hook with bait and we could have won $1000.” Of course, I don’t know if this particular gentleman was the one who won the grand prize.
After the fish is weighed, if it’s not a contender for a prize, they throw it back into a fishing hole. I guess it pays to be little — the little ones get life, the large ones get death.
We had a nice time although we weren’t there very long as my hands got cold. Next year I’ll be better prepared.
It was surprising to see how many people actually came out since this was Superbowl Sunday — Seattle Seahawks vs Denver Broncos. (By the way, in case you didn’t know, the Seahawks won! And they won big!)
So — next year, this could be me, uh, us.
Think of this wonderful winter activity you could be enjoying if you lived in Minnesota!