OK, today I went ice fishing for the first time in about 20 years.
I have had this fear of falling threw ice since the last time I fell in. I was in my late teens, it was about 4 degrees out and I fell into a lake we were riding our motorcycles and snowmobiles on. The lake had an aerator that did not allow the ice to freeze as thick in certain places. When I fell in, I was up to my neck and it was very hard to get myself out. However I did get out before my friends got back to me. I got on the back of a friends snowmobile and off we went to his house. It took about 4 hours for me to get warm and thaw and dry my clothes.
So last week I found an ice auger on craigslist for $ 20.00, considering that the ones I was looking at in F&F and other outdoor stores were $70.00 to $90.00. I thought “great, I found a deal”. I drove to Pekin and bought it. it was in very good condition and I couldn’t wait to get out on the ice.
This morning I went to F&F and bought a pole and reel, skimmer, ice jigs, bobbers, weights for depth finding and a spring tiptop.
My son and I raise a few meal worms so I grabbed them and, this afternoon I headed to the lake.
My dog and unloaded at the lake and we walked out onto the ice sounding it the whole way. I thought I’d go out to where I thought it was about 4-5 feet deep and punch a hole and see how thick the ice was. I was very happy to find out how easy my $20.00 auger cut the first hole. The ice was about 8 inches thick, so I walked out a little further and punched 2 more holes. I was probably 60-70 feet from shore at the furthest hole. I walked back and grabbed my rod and seat. I walked to the furthest hole and started to drop the weight to find the depth, all of the sudden the lake let out a loud crack and pop from the ice. Only then did I remember the sound the ice makes on a normal day. I am glad I sitting down or else I would have fallen down. I jumped so badly, and I know my heart skipped a beat.
Well, I managed to settle down and we stayed on the ice for about 45 minutes with no luck.
As I sat there fishing and listening to the ice pop and groan, I just could not sit there and relax. I was feeling quite nervous. I thought “I should not be out here alone.” My fear got the best of me and I gathered my things and headed for the shore.
Today the ice won, but tomorrow I’ll be back, maybe.