Subscribe | E-Editions | River News 75 | Super Shopper - FREE | About Us | Contact Us | FREE Classified Items Under $50
The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

Flanders Realty Group

home : outdoors : outdoor news
June 25, 2019

5/4/2019 7:30:00 AM
Natural Reaction
The allure of late ice
Jacob Friede
Of The Lakeland Times

There's nothing more glorious than ice fishing a lake when it's 50 degrees outside, especially after a season that saw the thermometer hit 50 below.

It's elemental irony. It doesn't make sense. It almost doesn't seem possible, walking across the ice, dragging just the basics, in weather that feels like July. The day's checklist chopped to a Vexilar and auger, some bait and a bucket and a pole. Gone are the gloves and the heavy coats and hats and hoods and hand warmers, and you're traveling so light it's tough to let go of the feeling that you're forgetting something.

When you search the back of your brain for what's missing, all that's found is you're simply not freezing.

Which is a perfect chance to reflect upon the times when temperatures were not so sweet, because the challenge of ice fishing is most appreciated when it's taken out of the equation.

My last hurrah on the hard water was on a super warm day on Clear Lake just a couple weeks ago. It was a fascinating scene, with clouds rising from the lake, like a collection of small, scattered, campfires.

I was lost in a daze watching winter flee for the heavens right in front of my face. Fishing, though, was slow so I began reminiscing about the past season on the ice.

As far as a fight, the best was with a largemouth bass that I landed with a small panfish jig. It measured 20 inches and the monster somehow stayed on the tiny hook after a heck of a battle put forth.

The most fun I had all ice season was a day of slaying bluegill. A friend of mine put me on a hot shoal where we caught gill after gill, most of them keeper size, from dawn to dusk. With the panfish hitting like that, the waist- deep snow was a walk in the park.

However, my favorite catch this year was an early morning walleye taken on a Swedish pimple. I had just been told, by some guy at a boat landing, of a prime time spot for early ice walleye. I don't always follow such random advice, but the more I thought about the location, the more it made sense. Because of that I had not been able to sleep that night so I set forth into the darkness, around 4 a.m., to test the validity of the tip. Sure enough, the second the spoon dropped into the hole, a walleye was there to inhale it.

The mild, almost perfect weather on Clear Lake put those memories into perspective because when they happened it wasn't so pleasant. And like every catch through the ice, they're cherished for the trials that accompanied them.

It's the freezing of fingers tying a hook in the dark with invisible line through a pin hole, and the hurdling of snowbanks with every step trying to get across a lake, that give meaning to the meager victories over the conditions in which they are achieved.

And that's why the winds of change that break up the ice are so wonderful, because in contrast to what you've already endured, the rest of the year should be a warm breeze.

Jacob Friede may be reached at jacob@lakelandtimes.com or sports@lakelandtimes.com.





Article Comment Submission Form
Please feel free to submit your comments.

Article comments are not posted immediately to the Web site. Each submission must be approved by the Web site editor, and meet the comment guidelines (see "Comment Guidelines" at right). There may be a delay of 24-48 hours for any submission while the web site editor reviews and approves it.

Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number and email address is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   


Advanced Search
search sponsored by



Subscription Login
LOGIN | SUBSCRIBE


Today's Circulars
Print-N-Save Coupons
Order photo reprints

Classifieds
Advertising Information

Community Connections
Submit to Newspaper...

Ced Vig's books for sale
Kris Gilbertson's 'I Recall...'

Twitter









Life
Facebook | All Things | Wisconsin Lottery | The Lakeland Times - affiliate | Winter Road Conditions | Snow/Trail Conditions


The Northwoods River News | Walker Communications, LLC
232 S. Courtney Street, Rhinelander, WI 54501 | Office (715) 365-6397 | Fax (715) 365-6361

Corporate billing office: The Lakeland Times / Lakeland Printing Inc. | P.O. Box 790, Minocqua, WI 54548 | (715) 356-5236 | Fax (715) 358-2121
Members of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association, Wisconsin Community Papers, Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce, Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce

Site Design and Content | Copyright 2019 1up!

Software © 1998-2019 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved