Home > misc, supper, travel > Ice Fishing and God’s Twisted Sense of Humor

Ice Fishing and God’s Twisted Sense of Humor

Due to a screw-up in the work schedule, we ended up with a couple of unexpected days off this past week.  What does one do in Minnesota in the middle of winter when it’s 15 degrees out and a wind chill of 5?  Go ice-fishing, of course.

My boss (Steve), a co-worker (Clint), and I decided that we needed to go sit on some ice for a day and see what happened.  Since the St. Croix River is only a handful of miles from Steve’s place, it made sense to find a spot right off of Bayport.  Clint, being an avid fisherman, knew the area pretty well, so that sealed the deal.

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This is what I stared at for 7 hours.

Clint and I started the day on the Wisconsin side of the river, but we had absolutely no luck.  By the time Steve showed up, we were desperate and ready to move.  So we called our friend Matt (a fanatical fisherman) to see where we should go.  The short of it was we were on the wrong side.  We were good on the north and south, we just needed to be on the west bank instead of the east.  In fact, even before I got my line in the water, Clint pulled up the first fish of the day: a nice sized smallmouth bass.

Of course this got everyone excited, and in fishing terms means that we didn’t see another fish for an hour.

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For the longest time the was the whole of our catch.

After a few beers, one feels nature’s call.  Basically, as soon as I was indisposed, both Clint and Steve reeled in a nice crappie each.  While excited that we finally got more fish, I was beginning to feel left out.

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Stretching my legs, grabbing a beer, and getting out of a 5′ cube crammed with 3 guys.

After several fish nudging my bait, but never taking it, one finally started pulling on the line.  I quickly set the hook and started cranking it in.  Everyone was confused as my “catch” came up to the hole.  Once it popped out, there really wasn’t any less confusion.  Then it slowly dawned on all of us that I just pulled up a mudpuppy.  Or in slightly more scientific terms an aquatic salamander.  Considering that a large one will measure 13″ to 16″, the 10″ one I caught at least was decent sized.

So, not only did I get dubbed with the “good luck leak” moniker, I also got the “ugliest fish” award.  But as Steve pointed out, I didn’t get skunked.

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The ugliest thing I have ever reeled in.

I did sort of redeem myself later when I pulled in a big crappie on Steve’s line, but it still felt a little bittersweet.

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My “share” of the catch.

All in all, it was a decent trip.  Spent some relaxing BS time with my co-workers, got out and enjoyed nature, and even brought home a couple of fish for supper.  The grand total for the day was 2 smallmouth bass, 4 crappies, and a mudpuppy that got thrown back.

Oh, and by the way, the crappies were quite tasty.  I just gutted, beheaded, and scaled them before throwing them in a pan of hot oil.  They didn’t even need any seasoning.  Although I probably would have been better off filleting them, but I didn’t have the energy to do it.  I’ll consider it for the next time.

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  1. January 12, 2013 at 8:42 am

    That is one ugly fish!

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