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From here on in, there's likely to be a certain amount of good-natured bantering going on between the members of BBG, regarding the sport of ice fishing. And while I would guess that the majority of folks here are not active on the hardwater, there are still a few diehard ice heads among us.

I've been thinking a lot lately, about what it is that drives a person to take up ice fishing. And while I can't speak for anyone else here, I do believe that I have isolated a few components that make the experience special for me.

I think the biggest thing, for me, is the time factor. I'm self-employed, have been for years, and I work a lot during the warmer months. A 55 hr, six day workweek is the norm, with many weeks exceeding that number. There are no vacation days, sick days, personal days,or paid holidays. As a sole proprietor, if I'm not there I'm losing money. In addition, like most of us I have chores and projects outside of work. This year, I finished my folks' cabin, built a fish cleaning station, cut all the firewood for three families, and totally revamped the sugarhouse for maple syrup season. And that doesn't include the regular chores such as mowing, brushcutting, clearing dams, etc.

I don't list this stuff hoping for pity, as a great deal of it is self-inflicted. I'm merely saying that I don't have a lot of free time for fishing during the warmer months. And to be honest, my ponds and my fish are showing it. They both need my attention.

But the cold months are another story. My business is seasonal, so I can reduce my hours. All of the summer projects are finished, (hopefully), there is no brush or grass to mow, and things slow down.

I'm not finished yet this year, but I can see the end of the tunnel....just a little more and I'll be done.

So for me, ice fishing means having the time to simply go fishing, without feeling guilty about it, or thinking my time might be better spent accomplishing something more material. There is a lot more to it of course, and as I get time I will add to this discussion by listing the other qualities that attract me to the hard water lifestyle. In the meantime, if anyone would like to share what they enjoy, or do not enjoy about ice fishing feel free to do so....I would enjoy reading it.

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my personal congrats to all of the hard water fishing guys!!  in fact; if I could handle the cold weather ; I would be right with you guys!!  

It requires a bit of crazy.............

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JognYlrfMF4

Self-inflicted - I like that.

Ice fishing is, essentially, a masochists game.

Wish I could do some this year.

This is worth a repost over at http://bigbluegill.com/group/eastcoasticefisherma Thanks Tony ! For me its not just the fishing that is alluring ,though that's the real enjoyable reason for going  , it's getting outdoors and breathing in the invigorating air and stretching the legs..The camaraderie with a fishing buddy or my brother is essential too but I go alone a lot on a small suburban lake .I don't suggest going alone where there are no houses for folks to see you if you need help  and I don't suggest pushing the season before at least 4" of ice .

TONY AND ALL THE HARD WATER GUYS ON HERE , MY HAT'S OFF TO YOU GUYS !!!!!!! YOU guys all do something I"ve only tried once. That was years ago in my youth . No longer will try it for many reasons , NUMBER 1 is when I hear the ice cracking when stepping, NUMBER 2 my long time fear of being trapped under the ice cause I don't have gills. Those are the two best reasons I can come up with . Well being 65 now and not moving with as much grace and agility as I once did is also a factor.

  I'm not afraid of much in life , but ICE FISHING , is one thing I am scared of now in my advanced years of Wisdom and comfortable life style.

  CONGRATS TO ALL YOU GUYS WHO DO IT THOUGH and look forward to the pics as always .....

Hard water fishing is just another way for us to enjoy our sport a little longer. True it's not for all and you'll hear all kinds of reasons or excuses not and other than you not having ice covered water or handy or sick in some way there really is not a reason why you can't other than your scared of the ice. It's really not wrong to be scared of the ice you need a healthy respect for it and know its limitations cause it will eat you up so be well schooled . When I indulged my biggest negative for me is lots of ice. I'm really not a small person never have been but you would never see me out on ice of less than 5 or 6 inches. I love clear ice for obvious reasons it harder and safer. I have fished in - degree temps lots of times but you'll find its the wind that takes most of the enjoyment out of it, you need to dress appropriately and there are super worm clothing today not even thought of 10 years or so ago. I'm not above an ice shelter and people who use cold as an excuse really never fished out of an ice shelter it's like fishing out of you living room sort a speak especially today's shelters and some good fishing and good experiences especially early ice can be had. Ice shelter have come a long way and if you use one doesn't mean your not macho means you love to fish extending your season getting out of the wind and elements. An ice shelter can help the achieve that goal it's another great tool. Lets face it we all like to be comfortable and these are a few of our modern conveniences to help achieve that goal. Try it you might like it.

my neighborhood during the season

i used to ice fish a lot ,had some great days but way more days of freezing half to death and not much to show for it.but i do have access to some new spots that dont allow boats so might have to see whats out there beyond casting range .we had some years lately with unsafe ice most of the winter.last year we had over 30 inches on most  BOWs.lake michigan had almost 95% ice cover.work has been better the last year and a half  so i might invest in a portable shelter.just dont know how many holes i can drill in 2 feet + of ice.

I loved ice fishing. It's one of the few things I miss about northern winters since I moved south. There was something about the solutude of it. There was something about sitting on my box keeping my bare hands warm over my lantern staring at my flasher with a thermos of hot coffee. Nothing like it. 

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cool ice  fishing sled Mike !

Thanks John. I built it around '94. Used it for many years. Still sitting in my mom's basement up north.

that is a cool setup Mike!

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