Along the Grapevine


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Ice Fishing Hut on Sheffield Lake

I am thinking of taking up ice fishing. Especially when I am out on a frozen lake and the sun is shining, I think it is the quintessential Canadian winter pass-time and one I might actually be able to do. I think about bringing a lawn chair, a thermos of hot drink, bundling myself up, and then just taking in all the beautiful scenery around. I know there is more to it than that, but these the most important aspects.

This is the kind of set-up I have in mind, with chair, and sun.

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With the idea of doing a little research on the art of ice fishing, this past weekend I dropped by Beaver Lake where The Lakeview Tavern was hosting  their annual fishing derby. Beaver Lake is a popular spot for fishing, with several huts planted there for the season every year. Pike and pickerel are the fish most often caught here. I would be interested in foraging for these – from my lawn chair.

Before I start, I will need to acquire the following:

a fishing rod

some kind of saw for cutting a hole in the ice

bait

I interviewed two very kind men who were willing to break the silence by answering my questions. They had several holes and rods, and a lot of patience –  for fishing, I mean. I can understand the need for a hut on cold days like the ones we have been experiencing. This one looked very cozy.

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If the season just holds out long enough for me to get my gear together, I will join the fishing ranks this season.

Here is one of the successful participants in the derby with his catch.

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Fisherman Pat Lyman holding his catch of pickerel

Meanwhile, I do buy local fish when I can, and will post a recipe on cooking pickerel as soon as I get my next lot, by hook or by other method.