During a recent morning devotion, I simply said to Gary Faszholz, LHN fisherman extraordinaire, "I've never been ice fishing. Let's try it some day."
When Bryan Oechsner chimed in with, "Hey, I have a power auger," I knew I should have remained silent.
My usual pattern for a Saturday morning involves java and the newspaper as I ease into the day's activities. On this fated, frigid day, I was trudging over ice while pulling a sled of buckets, minnows, wax worms and one cup of coffee. I know, I know, one cup does not a morning make but my fishing compadres said there would be no outhouse on the ice.
We trusted Fisherman Faszholz and the Stoney Creek fishing blogs to figure out where to dig, auger, chip a hole. Moments later we were pulling in bass, crappie and blue gill like you wouldn't believe. Well, at least you shouldn't believe it because that's a bit of an exaggeration. We caught nothing. Lest you think we are some weak, ill-informed, naive ice fishermen, let me reveal that Bryan Oechsner is from Milwaukee, the ice fishing Mecca. Well, that's his claim.
We broke camp and headed to a fishing hole just off 28 mile. Success was ours. The Faszholz Fishing Report assured us this pond was teeming with bass and panfish. I questioned not this man's fish knowledge. I just wish he would have said his report was based on his summer fishing experiences. You know, summer, when people wear shorts and a t-shirt, not five layers, thermal cycling tights and a snowmobile suite. Hey, don't sweat the small stuff. Catch fish.
Catch fish we did. Catch many fish we did not. Instead of lowering the nets on the other side of the boat, we simply augered more holes in the lake. It worked for Christ but not so much for us.
At the end of the day we had a lot of stories, blog fodder, cold hands, numerous leftover minnows and the memories of catching four fish in six hours. I know nothing about good ice fishing days but Faszholz claims that's a good ratio. I was never good with numbers so I'll simply believe him.