Sunday, February 11, 2007

Ice Fishing Contest

by Uncle Hans
Custom Smiley Today was the annual ice fishing contest on Cable Lake. It is sponsored by the Tamarack Tavern in Spooner. I thought I would do a photo-essay for blog readers who may not be familiar with the ice fishing thing (proving they are mentally stable). It starts at 0630, when the temp was -12. I never noticed those cobwebs by the thermometer before!..........

.........my day usually starts like this. A cell phone for the vindictive nurse or patient who gets a kick out of waking me up at 0630 or making Wendy bring the phone from the bedside cradle out to me in the hot tub (Wendy doesn't usually wear a smile at that time--proving her mental stability). There is always a coke, but at -12 you have to drink it fast or dip it in the hot tub from time to time...............
.................I took a bunch of pictures which all failed, due to the high tech marvel of an automatic digital camera I have. My old stupid camera would have allowed me to dial in the appropriate settings and get a great sunrise shot. This one is the twelfth attempt over 20 minutes. It has more computer power than a space shuttle but could not figure out the settings and the flash for steam coming out of the hot tub and partial darkness of a sunrise. Old Stupid would have patiently put the needle of the exposure meter inside the "C" and allowed a perfect shot on the first try. I love new technology. Did you know that "new" is the same word as "improved"? Yes, they want you to think that new means improved. Ever try to catch an action picture with a new and improved digital camera? With old stupid you just adjust, aim and shoot. You get, "click, nice action shot! "With new and improved, you aim and shoot. You get, "click. Wait a few seconds while I consider if you are worthy of this shot............Nope, too late. Try again!" So you have to ask someone to roll their snowmobile over again because you missed the picture................ .......eventually I got some sunrise color............ ...................it wasn't that painful waiting, actually............ .....as I sit there, I face north. The shadows stretch out from the right,which is east. The windsock is bored, indicating no wind and what should be a great day for ice fishing. The vehicles in the distance are the headquarters of the contest. Someone told me the other day it was illegal to leave your dock and boat lift in over the winter. I know it is risky for damage, but was not aware of the law. Now I don't have to lug it out, face the certainty of eventually having it all smashed to smithereens by the ice(I am in my 7th year of good luck), and now to find out it is illegal too?That's like a beer commercial! It doesn't get any better than this!!................. ......here is my contribution to "team Cable Lake" (Jake and his friends). I am cooking up a big pot of "Taco Beans" a recipe remotely resembling chili, but tasting like a taco. There is usually so much beer involved in these contests, that I could make Brussels sprouts and cake frosting and they would not notice. One needs beer to fortify you against the cold and boredom of watching a motionless tip-up for hours on end............... ....here is the contest in full swing. It is -7 so turnout is about half of what one would expect. You can see about 2/3 of the fishermen. Team Cable Lake is not in the picture, because they are in a little bay next to the guest house. The wind is picking up, but the fishing is not........... This close up of the headquarters shows a little of the lengths to which these guys will go with this thing. Some lakes, Mille Lacs Minnesota comes to mind, has cabins so elaborate that they are laid out in streets and blocks. They have LP delivery, pizza delivery, sewage pickup, and delivery "escort service". I would not know about that, I take my ice fishing way to serious for a distraction like that........... .................this is , at last, team Cable Lake, fishing in Callie Bay with the house and guest house in the background. They are using the guest house for their ice shack, watching the flags go up from the windows there. I think they have about a dozen holes in action. It is about 1000 hrs, and they are in second place at this time, having caught a 2lb, 7oz fish. It may have been the second fish caught in the whole contest, they were a little unclear to me about that......... ...........this is Jake drilling a new hole with a gas powered auger. My Dad is rolling over in his grave. He drilled by hand, swearing off such new and improved nonsense. The ice is nearly 20 inches thick, about average for this time of year. The shaft on the average auger is 24 inches and there have been some years that they would not be long enough to get to thewater........... .....this was about the high of the day. The cobwebs are starting to thaw.........
.........this is the goal, although, admittedly it is not from today. This is one Jason caught a couple of years ago at Christmas. This fish would have won $100 today, but that is how it goes................

.........this is Hannah kissing Jason's...er..fish. You know, this is just way off topic and too weird to pursue...........
.........speaking of off topic, here is Wendy at her new desk, which is a step stool just high enough to allow her to write without moving her recently operated shoulder. She has not missed a day at work, managing our business in spite of her temporary but nasty disability. She, however, did not fish with Team Cable Lake..........
.....here is everyone leaving, including the headquarters. I did not hear any whoops of joy form the guest house, indicating we probably did not win. Everyone goes to the tavern to warm up and draw for prizes and bitch about the poor fishing and cold while drinking more beer. It is all very predictable and orderly. Men like their events that way, they actually don't like drama...........
........after they left my buddy Dave landed his 185 like an eagle looking for frozen fish left behind by the contest. Also he lives on the lake. Nice day for flying.............

.........all is calm and the lake is back to normal. Even the windsock is peaceful and content. I have no idea how it got into that configuration. Thus ends the Tamarack Ice Fishing Contest for 2007..................


Hans

2 comments:

Hans said...

Rex,


Nice job on unscrambling that mess of pictures and text all e-mailed to you out of order. You are a great Editor.


Hans

saucersrus said...

Thanks for a glimpse of winter from afar Uncle Hans!!!