Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Sorting through my gear closet, I find last year's ice fishing traps, the hand auger, and bait bucket. The gear is carefully loaded into my pack basket and placed by the door. Tomorrow morning will bring a great day of fishing. The first day on the ice always bring enjoyment - fish or no fish. It's simply a pleasure to be outdoors.
A lack of snow and above normal temperatures do not necessarily mean it's impossible to find strong ice, you just have to be creative in where you search. Ponds are typically a good bet as are small lakes. Caution must always be on the back burner. We setup shop shortly after daybreak and settle in for what will be a long day on the ice. Today is actually a bit chilly and a good wool sweater has its work cut out. Crisp air hits the lungs while I crank my auger and drill 5 holes through 5 inches of ice. Shiners are hooked and dropped through each hole. Now, it's a waiting game.
Ice fishing, for me, isn't always about the fishing. The truth be told, I'm not the best fisherman. But, I enjoy it. A good book makes for a serene afternoon on a quiet lake. About the time the stomach grumbling comes in early afternoon, I break out the lightweight cookstove and pot and warm up a batch of pre-made chili. It's the details that make the trip, so plan ahead.
Rhon Bell, an outdoor enthusiast, spends his time exploring the Maine Woods and documenting his journeys.
Growing up in Aroostook County, he embraced the outdoor lifestyle at a young age. Living today near Portland, he spends weekends and week-long adventures hiking New England summits, canoeing the historic Maine waterways, and ice fishing for lake trout.
Follow the journey as Window to the Woods discovers new destinations, and check out his other blog, Backwoods Plaid.