Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Feeling Like a Real Minnesotan

I guess this is the month for new experiences that leave me feeling like a real Minnesota.  2 weekends ago I cross country skied for the first time in Minnesota (I had XC skied in Colorado 10+ years ago) and this past weekend I went ice fishing for the first time ever!  I thought I'd share some photos from our ice fishing experience because I know it's a foreign concept for people that live in warmer parts of the country!

First off, when it comes to ice fishing, my family has a pretty good set-up.  My dad has a big, heated ice house that is very roomy.  They've had it for 5+ years but this was actually my first time out in it.  I guess in the past I felt like ice fishing was not an experience I needed to have, but my dad really wanted to take Phil ice fishing so I decided it was time to give it a try.  It actually ended up being fun!

As far getting out to the house, we drive an all-terrain type of vehicle out there, but some people drive pick-ups.  Right now there is 18" of ice so it's safe to drive on it (although I don't think I'd want to drive a big pick-up truck on it!).  It is eery when people drive vehicles on it because you can hear the ice cracking!

Phil checking out the holes.  Phil and I bought 24 hour licenses and my dad of course has a license so we had 6 holes as we got 2 holes/person

The water in the holes was way more clear than I thought it would.  My parents lake is a clean lake but the water looks especially clear in the winter.
I quickly learned that ice fishing is mostly about 'hanging out' and waiting for the action to happen.  We passed the time by playing cards.  My mom even came out to the ice house later (she's only been in it one other time) and Phil taught us how to play a card game called euchre which was really fun.

Playing some cribbage

Right around sun down, we heard a line jingle which alerted us to the fact that we had a bite.  My dad pulled out a walleye!


Unfortunately, that was the only fish we caught!  We had some other bites, but no success.  But it was still a fun way to spend the afternoon.

The fisherman and woman

Luckily my parents had froze some walleye that my dad and brothers/brothers-in-law caught around Christmas so we got to have some fresh walleye for dinner which was delicious.

All in all it was a really fun weekend.  This was the first time my parents got to spend time with just Phil and I as the other times we've seen them there has been a lot of other family around.  I love big family get-togethers, but it was nice to have a quiet weekend with my parents!  We played lots of games, ate well, and came back home feeling very relaxed. 

Have you ever been fishing?  This was my first time ice fishing but I fished a lot growing up.  I haven't fished in the summer in several years but it's something Phil enjoys so I have a feeling I'll be giving it another whirl this summer!

22 comments:

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

Wow this is really interesting to me... when you previously said there was a house, I thought it was like a warm up house where you hang out to get warm, put your bait on etc- I never assumed the holes would be right there. Cool!

I have another ice fishing question (yes, I live in a cold part of the country but I don't do this haha)- how do you get out the house? Do you just walk out on the ice? How far out is it?

Glad you had a relaxing weekend!

Gracie said...

Ice fishing and Euchre?! It's bringing me back to my days in Michigan! Euchre is big in Michigan, and apparently nowhere else at all EXCEPT Cajun country! The Acadians, it seems, brought the game down with them from Canada. On a rare occasion, I run into someone from Lafayette who plays Euchre.

Jeanie said...

I love this post and seeing you having such fun! I used to fish at the lake in the summer when I was a kid -- I don't think ice fishing would be my thing -- unless I had a cool set up like your dad has and it was cozy!

Had to laugh, though! When I saw the photo in my feed and read the title I thought the ice holes were something related to leaks and all I could think of was "Oh, no! Lisa has a BIG problem!" I'm glad it was no problem, just lots of fun!

Marlys said...

I think a better name for a ice fishing house would be "man cave" as the male gender seems to enjoy this sport greatly! Of course, when the fish are biting it is very enjoyable, for them and for us who enjoy eating walleye!
It was a great weekend with you and Phil and the time flew by! We thoroughly enjoyed getting to know him better! He has our "stamp of approval"! :)

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

One of my favorite things about Madison in the winter is all the ice fishing huts on the lakes. It seems like quite the winter "activity" (if you can call it that).

Love that you gave it a chance and that you trying it gave your mom cause for coming out to the ice fishing hut, too. Is that a toaster oven I see in the background - and if so, does that mean there's electricity? I'm imagining one heck of a long extension cord going from your parents' lake house to the ice house. hahaha.

J and A said...

That fishing hut is amazing!! We set up beach chairs and fish out of holes! ha ha What a great weekend!

Emilie said...

I've never been ice fishing before but it is something people do around here since we have a long and cold winter season. I think driving on the ice would totally freak me out! Where does the ice house go in the summer when there is no ice?

Amber said...

I have been ice fishing once or twice but never in a fancy ice hut like that! It's a lot colder and more boring without an ice hut I think. I definitely prefer summer fishing :)

Glad you guys had a great weekend with your parents!

Carolina John said...

I used to go fishing with my dad & grandfather a bunch when I was a kid. Dad still goes out saltwater fishing when we're all in savannah but now we charter a boat, he doesn't want to own one anymore. Certainly never been ice fishing. People who do enjoy it, like really seriously enjoy it. It doesn't seem to be a take-it-or-leave-it kind of hobby.

When I was in Ohio in september, I really wanted to get some local walleye and perch from Lake Erie but didn't get the chance to do that.

suki said...

That is so cool! Absolutely intriguing. :) I'd want to give it a try some day, even if it's mostly a "sit there and wait" kind of experience.

Nora said...

What a cool experience! The only things I know about ice fishing I know from Northern Exposure & the movies, so that's to say: not much. I have never been fishing of any kind: how sad is that? Glad you had a great weekend with your parents and Phil!

Lauren @ Sassy Molassy said...

AH, it makes me think of Grumpy Old Men. I love that movie and their ice shacks. ;) I've gone fishing with my grandpa at their cabin, but have never caught anything. Glad you had a fun weekend with Phil and the parents!

Abby said...

Sounds like a great weekend! I'm glad Mom made it out there too! I challenged her to it when we were home over Christmas.

Eukre is a fun game! Ryan taught me how to play that last spring.

Mmm I love fresh walleye! Sounds like a perfect weekend.

Stephany said...

I have so many questions! Hahaha. This is such a foreign concept to me because while you were ice fishing, there were people hanging out by my apartment pool this weekend. Oh, the Florida life. ;)

I've only been fishing once and I was young and I didn't enjoy myself at all. Alex loves to fish, though, so I imagine it's something I'll find myself doing this spring/summer!

megabrooke said...

That's pretty fun! Yeah, I've always pictured ice fishing as just in the middle of a lake- didn't realize there was a house situation for it! Glad you had fun!

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

That's so fun! I have never been ice fishing before, as most of our rivers move too fast to get that much ice on them (plus our temps are not quite as cold), but I used to go fly fishing with my Dad all the time. It's been a few years since we have, but your post reminds me that it's time to plan a summer trip up the creek!

Also, your ice house is so posh! I guess I picture the movie Dirty Old Men when I think of what the houses are like... or I picture just sitting out in the open. Anyway, cards and heat and a microwave! It's so civilized!

A said...

Your dad doesn't fool around with his ice fishing! I've actually never been -- I have only viewed the shanties (that's what we call them around here, I guess) from afar. I had no idea they could be so fancy!

CharisFaith said...

I think it's awesome that you are willing to fish. Me, not so much! I love a weekend when you can relax and just be! Good fish is always a plus! :)

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

I've been fishing, and ice fishing too - it's fun!

Shoshanah said...

I remember going fishing once or twice while on camping trips growing up. Although I never actually caught I thing. But I do remember my brother catching something, so we were at least a little successful.

Elizabeth said...

Awesome---how cool! Thank you for sharing this. The water looks amazing there. What a neat experience :)

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

OH my gosh. Euchre. That is our game. I always forget that not everyone knows how to play but it is huge in our family and one of the best ways to hang out during camping. Also, that is one impressive ice fishing house. My dad would be super jealous. I havent been ice fishing since I was a little girl because I HATE WINTER. Ha. My dad fishes in front of his house or sets up shop down the lake.