Don't you just love it when you are hunkered down over your hot little fishing hole and someone comes driving in and sets up camp right on you? Me too - it's one of my most favorite things - not!
You have to wonder about some people. I do realize that this world is made up of many people that have many different wiring schemes, but sometimes I just have to shake my mug and move onward.
I used to be a little more vocal and territorial, but I have come to realize that the only thing you can do is find another spot and hope that you can hang there for a while before someone works their way over and thinks you have a fish bowl under you.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when you venture out on the ice this winter:
There are a lot of lakes in the area. There are a lot of fish in the lakes. There are a lot of spots where fish congregate throughout the lakes. Fish can be spooked easily. Just because there is a gathering of people/houses on a particular spot doesn't mean they are all bringing the fish up hand over fist.
If you find a spot that hasn't been fished, it is likely that you will have success. I have used hand augers in the past just to reduce the noise. When you drill a lot of holes in an area, especially with all the snow on the ice, you are going to have some serious flooding, which is not a good thing.
With the snow comes the insulating value. And the thicker the drift, normally the thinner the ice. The ice did not form at the same time on every lake. On some lakes you will find 12 inches of ice and there will be other spots that have 4 inches. You need to check before you venture out. Lakes expand and contract, causing cracks and heaves, and around these areas things can be very dangerous. And when you have a lot of snow, how are you going to know? Be smart and ask people that have been out. Ask at the bait shop or use your legs and walk to the "hot spot."
We did a safety session the other day on KSTP TV. I realized how important it is to have a set of ice picks handy. During the session, I was able to pull myself out of open water very quickly using the picks and it was also very helpful to have my Arctic Armor jacket and bibs on.
Be smart, be careful, be courteous, be clean, be quiet, be versatile, be sure to have fun and most of all, be the fish!
WALLEYEDAN Eigen may be reached at (218) 839-5598, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.walleyedan.com
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