Michigan’s ice fishing season is finally underway across the state
After weeks of hibernating while the thermometer refused to get more than a degree or two above zero, I finally got out ice fishing the other day. It was the first time I’d been fishing in more than two months.
I enjoy fishing in the fall, but it’s something that I just fit in here and there between hunting excursions and not a full-time pursuit. And fall’s sudden cold with plenty of snow made hunting a chore in our neck of the woods, never mind trying to launch a boat. Consequently, my open-water fishing season came to an end quickly this year.
But the sustained cold weather was good for one thing – making widespread safe ice. Armed with new blades on my old hand auger, new line on my reels and a handful of new teardrops, I headed out with a partner who was going out for the first time this season, too. His last time fishing had been in August, so he was especially glad to get out.
What a difference a 20-degree increase in temperature and a 20 mph decrease in wind speed can make on a person’s interest in doing things outdoors. It was still cold, to be sure, but with little wind blowing, the inside of our portable shack warmed quickly.
The fishing itself, however, was not hot. We caught three tiny fish and didn’t observe any others in a little over three hours of trying. We moved once and noticed that just about every other fishing party on the little bay was moving around, too. It seemed that no one was catching much today.
But it was still good to be out. On our walk to and from the truck, pulling the shack behind us, we saw two eagles. The sun felt good after weeks of cloudy skies. The heater worked, the shack didn’t have any holes in it from last season and no one dropped a cell phone in the water. I’ve had worse trips. Next time, maybe the fish will show themselves.