Posted: March 6, 2015
A few acquaintances recently asked me if I would like to join them on an ice fishing expedition. Fortunately, I had a built-in excuse since it's only been three months since I broke my ankle and my physical therapist did not think it would be a good idea to attempt to walk on glare ice.
I have never been much of a fan of ice fishing. I realize that many others in Northern Wisconsin enjoy this sport, but my recollections of ice fishing on a lake in Northern Illinois are not fond memories.
My father, John, used to love to ice fish on Deep Lake in Lake Villa, IL. He would walk out to the farthest point, sit on an old paint bucket and drop in a few fishing lines. My job was to skate out to his post every half-hour and see if he needed anything or if he was lucky enough to catch a fish. Generally, the request was the same: "Bring me back a ham sandwich and a beer."
So, as any good son would do, I would trek back to the shoreline, take off my skates, climb up 50 concrete stairs to the house and make a ham sandwich and grab a beer out of the refrigerator. Then I would go back to Dad's ice fishing spot and deliver the goods.
But by the time I made my way back to Dad's ice fishing hole, he would be ready for another ham sandwich and a beer.
I quickly realized that ice fishing was not so much the sport it was cracked up to be. In fact, I exerted more energy checking on my father's well-being than sitting on a bucket waiting for a bluegill or crappie to bite on a waxy.
I also realized that my father really didn't care that much for ice fishing. It was just his way to get away from the family and enjoy a Saturday morning on the lake.
I much prefer ice fishing sitting in a warm house. This is when I found how much I liked tip-ups. At least when the flag on the tip-up went up, I knew I caught something.
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