Dec 15, 2011

First ice, no ice [+video]

The boys came up to The Fort last weekend for our annual 'first ice' trip on Lake Puckaway (The Puckopener), and we just barely had ice. This will be my seventh winter of keeping general logbooks of the things I do (primarily outside), and every year so far we have had walkable ice (1.5 inches or more) by December 10. Some years are creepier than others. For as much as I ice fish, going out on the ice for the first time each winter is alarmingly unnerving. I have never really* gone through the ice and I don't ever want to, but I do take some chances. And this week's weather is proof of that.

Yesterday it reached 50f here in Mecan, Wisconsin, and it rained for 24 hours straight. These are two of the primary enemies of ice, naturally. But ice has resilience! We could all learn a thing or two from ice. I always say, based on the scientific data of my logbooks (of course), that "it takes a lot to make ice and it takes a lot to melt it, too." Well it might not be purely scientific but I've found lots of truth in that 'rule'. I've been ice fishing in t-shirt weather in the spring. Long-term trends matter a lot more than current conditions.

Anyways, so then the wind picked up today. And that shot any ice fishing plans I might've had for this weekend. The lake is nearly wide open again, so we'll need two or three really cold and calm nights to get back to square one again. Frustrating. I have a winter to live here full-time and we're now two weeks off the normal pace. More time to write, I guess.

Since the ice was so scary last weekend we didn't go very far out and so we didn't catch any fish... but we did enjoy the ice nonetheless. And so I present my newest video project: Slidin'!!!!! [warning, there is some cursing in here, sorry, I got excited]
* - Going in shin-deep on shore in the spring doesn't count.