Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Family On Ice

Introducing family and friends to fishing is vital to keeping the sport alive. Yes, some anglers are self-taught, but most are shown the light by a relative, friend or mentor. My uncle and I had talked about taking out his two sons and my younger brother out for a day on the ice for some time. The stars finally aligned and that day came last weekend. 

The main mission of this trip was ensuring that good times were had by all and if we were lucky, to put a few fish on the ice.  Well lucky we were, but only with the forecast. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and the kids were peeling off layers by 10 a.m.  The fishing, however, left much to be desired and it wasn't for the lack of trying either. 

It was still dark upon arrival and the thought of walking on ice in an unfamiliar location may have been intimidating at first.  They all jumped in unison too, as the first pressure crack roared across the lake.  Soon comfort set in and we got to work.  Even if we weren't going to catch, we still were going to put on a show. Two pop-up shelters were erected on a day that didn't require any.  Over 25 tip-ups laced a few acres of the lake, baited with shiners imitating the land-locked alewives that call this place home.  We made the ice look like Swiss cheese with the gas augers for jigging missions too.

A few flags did fly, but the fish, most likely smallmouth bass or yellow perch, were not committing to our baits.  Even jigging proved fruitless, as the fish signals on our electronics were few and far between.  During down time, which more or less was a good portion of the day, the kids kept busy by searching for alewives that perished and rose to the lake surface, only to become incased in the ice.  Once located, the chisels came out and the alewives were freed and put on a sharp hook and dropped to the bottom of the lake.  It didn't help the cause, but it sure seemed like a good idea!  All in all, our guests enjoyed every second of the day, vowing to join us again soon.

In rare form, we were off the ice by 2 PM and made it home to witness the UConn men's basketball team topple #1 ranked Texas, which made a good day even sweeter.  Another highlight was testing my new Flip Video camera. Unfortunately, there wasn't too much action to capture on this trip, but this will be a very useful tool down the road. Here's a short clip I put together after messing around with the camera for the first time. 

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