What a great time to be alive

2021 05 14 Bucket O Whitefish
A modern electric trolling motors and a cell phone made it possible for the author to land a limit of whitefish and keep them on ice until he could clean them. (Photo by Tom Pink)

A colleague from work asked me if I wanted to accompany him on an excursion for whitefish, and since he had limited out the weekend before, and even took home a bonus coho jack, I readily accepted.

We launched his new boat about a half hour after daylight and we were the first guys out in the spot. He “anchored” with one of those fancy electric trolling motors that holds you in your spot through GPS and the touch of a button. No anchor line. It seems like everyone has one these days, and there are fewer of us on the river using a bona fide anchor. No cold fingers when fishing in the early spring and late fall!

The motor held us in place perfectly, and we were getting whitefish within minutes. The river was flat and so quiet that we could hear birds calling from both the U.S. and Canadian shores. It was a marvelous morning.

Before noon, we had our limit of whitefish, which we split up at the dock. I had my share in a bucket and I headed to the local gas station to get a bag of ice to preserve them on the drive home and keep their flesh firm during the cleaning process.

On the way to the gas station, I realized that I had left my face mask at home. Normally, I have at least three in the car, but not today. To top it off, I also remembered that, while I was in town, I needed to stop by the local hospital to get a COVID-19 test. That would mean at least an hour delay before I could employ the fillet knife on these beauties. The sun was out and the temperature was climbing. It would get hot in my car. I needed ice to keep these fish cold.

My mind raced. The hospital would likely have face masks at the door, but would the gas station? Should I camp out in front of the gas station and ask someone to score a bag of ice for me, much like my buddies and I did in high school when we asked strangers in the liquor store parking lot to buy beer for us?

Then I remembered that McDonald’s sold bags of ice through their drive-thru windows, at least before the pandemic struck. I pulled over, looked up the phone number of the local golden arches and called to ask if I could get ice handed to me through my car window in these unprecedented times. The polite clerk assured me that I could get ice for my fish.


I went through the drive-thru and procured not only the ice, but a second breakfast, then iced down the fish and went on my way.

All of this possible through the power of modern electric trolling motors and cell phones.

What a glorious time to be alive.

Categories: Blog Content, Michigan – Tom Pink

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