four fishermen, 150 fish

Lake Simcoe, 2016.02.14

Today might be Valentines Day, but two of us spent it on the ice with our sons, not with our brides. It was the second annual Coldest Day of the Year ice fishing event, this year held on Cook's Bay at a balmy -29°C. Richard had found an outfitter on the west side of the lake, and this time Ken and I had some of our own gear*.

It was a smashing success, if you were counting the perch we hauled in. And yes, the boys were counting. Richard had about thirty, Ken had 42, Elliot had 60, and I was in the high twenties (I spent a fair bit of time with jigging spoons and lipless crankbaits, trying to determine whether we could scare up something a little larger. That didn't work, but I did notice that the others hauled in more perch when I was doing it). We kept about 15-20 fish, and ate them at home with the assistance of the abandoned wives, who made tempura with the fillets and even whole (headless) fish that we boys cleaned (see below).

Some pics!

15m of ice water15m of ice water

a bucket of percha bucket of perch

Richard & ElliotRichard & Elliot

fracture in the icefracture in the ice

fracture in the icefracture in the ice

cleaning our catchcleaning our catch

The outfitter's name was Terry Goy. He poked his head in only once during the day, to collect his fee, but was otherwise quite hands-off. He'd set the shacks up in a good spot.

*Speaking of gear, one of the first things I managed to do was to drop a brand new line of fluorocarbon 12# into the drink. My hands were still a throbbing mess from the cold, and I hadn't properly put away all of the jackets and so on, so the bench was a bit of a muddle. $20 of brand new, never-used gear that should have lasted me 20 years (given that I'd only use a meter at a time).

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rand()m quote

(In which I leave the final word to someone else.)

I feel fortunate that I enjoyed the blandishments of modernity. I had hip replacement and root canal. I was able to travel on airplanes. I was able to take cheap food for granted. I went to the movies. I enjoyed rock 'n' roll. And now I'm ready to move on.

-James Howard Kunstler