What a nICE day of fishing

what a nICE day of fishing

Yesterday, my brother, nephew and I went fishing for the first time in 2014 and if we use this day as a measuring point then we are sure to have a great year of fishing. What a perfect day to go Ice fishing. The weather at 7:30 am when we got on the ice could not have been nicer. The sun was just breaking over the mountains and the temperature was already in the mid twenties and warming slightly. When we arrived at the Pontook Dam in Dummer, NH it looked like a small deserted ice shanty town. There was not a soul in sight when we got there, just the twenty or so empty cabins silently waiting for life to visit. They would not wait long as within an hour of our arrival, people started inhabiting the cabins and the ice became a Mecca of fishing activity. Soon the little houses were springing up smoke trails as people lit their stoves to take the chill out of them.

PanWe set up our Shappell DX4000 portable shelter, though on this day we would not need it, and with our trusty ice drill in hand we began drilling holes in the 14 inch thick ice. At one time, you could hear the different augers drilling. There were propane, gas and electric augers going all together in a symphony of hole drilling machines.

P1010502P1010501Once all our holes were drilled and sounded for depth, we set up our ice traps and  baited the hooks with small minnows, then we waited in suspense for a flag to appear. Ok, so not really in suspense as we were sitting in our chairs gabbing and laughing, but we were anxious for the first flag to appear. The nice thing was that even though we each brought our own traps we did not exert our ownership as any flag going up was anybody’s to go get. It was sort of a “whoever is closest when the flag goes up” kind of thing. In this way we were able to enjoy the fishing while at the same time making sure that everybody was catching fish. We were catching some pretty nice pickerel and because of the perfect weather, we had a great day.

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Let me tell you, the excitement of seeing the flags popping up was wonderful. As the population on the ice grew you could hear “FLAG” echoing out over the ice as people would call out when a flag went up so that their neighbors would be aware they had a fish on. The excitement of the flag popping up was only beaten by the pulse quickening felt when the fish came up through the hole, breaking the surface before being pulled out to have his photo taken. Smile fishy, smile.

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My friends, I believe the most fun to be had in fishing comes from the sharing of a good time, and the good time is only enhanced when everybody gets to catch fish. How can you have a good time fishing if your traps are going up while your fishing buddy is drawing blanks? I know as amateur anglers, my brother, nephew and I wouldn’t enjoy the day if our fishing partners were not having as good a time as we were having. It’s one thing to catch the biggest fish and tease your buddy about it, it’s another thing entirely to be catching fish while your partner is getting skunked and you do nothing to help change his luck for the day. Be the best fishing partner you can be and make sure the people you choose to fish with are having a good time fishing. Share your knowledge and experience and help them turn a day of fishing into great memories.

good company + good fishing = great memories

Tight lines, the Amateur Angler

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