My fearless warrior of a hubby had no work or school this President's Day. He was invited by one of our neighbors and friends (Riley Nay) to go ice fishing with some other guys from our ward down somewhere in Utah. (Sadly, my Utah geography is still very vague.)
He woke up insanely early and got entirely bundled up, and off he went. Sadly, one pair of his gloves were dropped in the parking lot. :( Poor guy. He had another pair though and borrowed his friend's wife's pair (sorry, Chelsea!), so he did survive.
Anyway, they were out there for hours and caught nothing. Luckily, they were able to use the holes from past fishers, so they only had shallow ice to break through to get the fishies. A few hours after they got there, another group of men started fishing down from them a bit and caught 6 all at once! Those guys had a fish finder. So, those apparently work.
A bit of excitement happened when Riley thought he caught something, and it was huge. He pulled with all his might. Jeff was worried the pole or string might break. It was completely bent, all cartoon-style, with Riley trying with all his might to reel in the big bad fish. Haha. When the string wouldn't reel anymore, they became suspicious. Jeff knelt down and noticed that the hook was actually caught on the ice, so Riley was trying to reel in the lake itself. An ambitious goal, and there definitely would have been some fish in there, but haha, too big a task for one small fishing pole.
Another humorous thing is that as the sun came out, the ice would make really loud cracking, popping sounds. As novices, this was rather frightening to Riley and Jeff who would jump and run around a little bit the first few times. They felt better when they saw 4-wheelers and people camping on the ice, and when they dug through it and saw that it was very, very thick ice.
The day was not a total loss however. The boys had a lot of fun, and Jeffrey did end up catching a fish! The guy who knew what he was doing (Sage Kelley), was very proficient and killing, cleaning, and gutting it. Which is very lucky, because Jeff would have had no idea.
This tale has a slightly sad, or humorous, ending. Jeffrey brought it home and let it thaw out. He excitedly seasoned and baked it. Then he tried to eat it. He's never had wild fish before and was frankly at a loss at what to do with the bones and other body parts that remained. He ate what he could, and the fish ended up in the trash.
He tried though. Diligently.
Interestingly, the lake has a rule that you are forbidden to catch and release. You are required by state law to kill and take with you everything you catch. I wonder if the lake is overpopulated?
Anyway, the only thing I like about fishing is being outside and being near water, so I have a feeling that ice fishing is not for me. I hate the actual pole and killing the fish part. I have caught two fish in my life, and I cried both times.
Intellectually, I know that fish are here for me to eat them, but emotionally all I can think about is that it used to swim and breathe and have a life, and I killed it. And intellectually again, I know that death is not that bad or even the end, but emotionally, sigh. Yeah, I just feel bad.
If you would like more information about this adventure, Riley blogged about it, too. Click here to see his pictures and commentary.