Mishaps on the ice
Ice fishing season is just about over for me, and I guess I should be glad as it has been laden with mishaps.
I’m not complaining, as I’m of the opinion that it is better to have gone fishing than to not have. But it’s gotten to the point where when I load my truck up with gear and head for the ice, my wife gives me that “why continue to punish yourself” look.
It started my first day on the ice, back in early January. It was a calm Saturday morning and my brother and I were ready. Or at least I thought I was.
The first thing I realized was that I forgot the bolt that attaches the top of my ice auger, which is a cordless drill, to the actual auger itself. Lucky for me, I did have the handle that goes to the ice augur and figured out a “miraculous” way to attache the handle and augur.
It worked, at first, but as soon as I got through the 5 inches of ice the augur pulled loose and sank to the bottom before I could grab it. Ouch! That made for an embarrassing trip over to our neighboring anglers, one who happened to be an old college friend, who loaned me their auger.
I seized the opportunity to upgrade to a bigger auger (for bigger fish, of course), something that justified losing my previous augur. I don’t think my wife or my brother believed me.
I also purchased a powerful magnet, and having taken a GPS marking of the spot where I lost the auger, I made a solid effort to retrieve it a week later. If I was unsuccessful, which was the case, at least I could do some jigging. That worked out, except for on this outing I left my tackle box behind and therefore, I could only use one rod. It was a short outing.
Fishing, meanwhile, was tough. If it wasn’t the weather, it was the bite. At least three times I got the “should’ve been here yesterday” treatment from fellow anglers (they obviously have more fishing time than me) who either told me that the bite was incredible the day prior, or texted me the day after my outing to remind me that I had picked the wrong day.
As for the weather, I learned to only go on windy days. Or at least it seems like it. I’ll leave it at that.
Worst of all has been equipment failure. My old sonar unit is showing it’s age and, unable to order the part I need in time, I got by. But I surely need to get this rectified by next year.
I spent one Saturday fishing a tournament with a buddy on a small local lake. We decided to fish shallow, which was a bad decision. First, we caught everything but the fish species we were supposedly completing for. And we were so shallow that when I powered through over 20 inches of ice, I hit bottom, immediately dulling the blades on my new auger.
On my next outing I forgot the adapter that allows a 20-volt battery to be used in the manner of that of an 18-volt battery. Back to drilling by hand, and with a dull auger.
I tried my best to sharpen the blades in time for yet another tournament, only to have the drill burn up on the first hole. I still can’t get that smell out of my nose. On top of that, the chair blind that doubles as a turkey hunting blind and ice fishing shanty decided it had seen it’s better days.
On my last outing, I lost a pair of sunglasses down the hole, and as I write this, I can’t find my favorite fishing knife.
So, the “get list” for the holidays is already piling up. I wish I could say the same for my fish bucket.