"Oh Fishy, I'm so sorry to hook you...I'll let you go....you're just a baby...."

"Oh Fishy, I'm so sorry to hook you...I'll let you go....you're just a baby...."

Ice fishing Trip #3 this winter for this blog writer.  You’re wondering if I’m “hooked”…right?  Not yet!  But it is getting a bit more fun every trip.  Especially today’s venture.

Shall I set the scene for you?  Barry and his brother Craig (visiting from Georgia) headed ice-bound about 10 a.m.  They pulled their sled off Pequaming out into Keweenaw Bay, auguring holes and testing depths for about an hour or so.  They finally set up their tent over 268 feet of water with thirteen inches of ice. 

Nancy and I joined them on the ice a little after 3 p.m.  We had work and other important chores to do.  No time to spend the entire day dangling wire in front of hungry trout, begging them to bite.  We pulled her sled through about three or four inches of wet snow.  How challenging!  I was panting like crazy.  We stopped every five minutes until our thumping heartbeats returned to normal.

Georgia boy Craig fishing in the tent

Georgia boy Craig fishing in the tent

The fellas had three fish when we arrived.  All keepers above fifteen inches. We ladies basked in Nancy’s tent with Mr. Heater (a must for any ice fishing trip!)  We caught up on years of talk, starting with our children in today’s world and then backtracking to the years when we attended La Leche league meetings about nursing the babies.  That’s a lot of talking!

See Nancy in our "home away from home"

See Nancy in our "home away from home"

Suddenly…what was that?  Was that a bite?  A nibble?  A fish biting on MY hook?  (Nancy had caught two to three fish by now…)   I yelled, pulled hard on the wire, threw it on the ground and began to pull it up from the bottom of that icy lake.  Hand over hand, I threw coils of wire near our feet on the floor of the tent.

Everyone laughed at me, probably because of the yell and enthusiastic string of language which followed.  Up came the fish through the hole!  It was….not a keeper.  Only fourteen inches long.  It needed to return to the depths.

The above photo involved me talking to the fish.  I kinda fell in love with it.  It was kinda….cute.  Can you tell?  It looked so innocent and sweet.  (The other three were laughing and hooting by now as I talked to it for a couple minutes.)  We finally put it back down the hole.  At first it wouldn’t sink.  But finally it swam away, thank goodness.

Can you see why I’m mostly a vegetarian?  With a few fish added in occasionally.

About 5:30 p.m. we enjoyed a picnic on the ice.  Dinner menu:  poached lake trout.  Venison sausage (brought by Nancy who made it herself after last year’s hunting season.  She’s a “real” sportswoman.)  For me:  hummus sandwich with spinach and cucumbers.  Nancy sportingly nibbled a bite. 

A view of the venison sausage so you can feel like you attended the ice fishing picnic:

Everyone enjoyed their venison sandwiches on Hilltop rye bread

Everyone enjoyed their venison sandwiches on Hilltop rye bread

Weather report:  a beautiful 40 degree afternoon on Keweenaw Bay.  When pulling the sled, the snowmobile suit seemed too hot.  When sitting in the tent, a little heat proved enjoyable.  How much nicer than an ice fishing trip at zero degrees!  I’m voting for these warm trips.

And now you may view our catch for the day:

And there you have it....our catch (plus an additional trout later)

And there you have it....our catch (plus an additional trout later)

All of us enjoyed such a fun afternoon.  Fish or no fish, it was still such a pleasure to spend time with family and friends out in the middle of the Keweenaw Bay of Lake Superior.

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