We headed back out on the lake (Millpond) to check out the fish houses again..it was a short Sunday drive.
We drove in the vehicle out on the ice..yes that is a normal practice this time of the winter in Minnesota. Everyone does it..sure you could walk..but if you can ride well that is all the better and Chance can hang his head out the window. There is a road of sorts ..an ice road.
The driver has to be on the lookout for sticks sticking out of the snow..where previous holes have been. You wouldn’t want to drive into a hole…or hit a big ice chunk which is sometimes on top of the snow next to an old hole.
A angling fish house was here earlier this winter..you can see the four holes. Fisherman sit inside their house near these holes and drop their bait down the hole..and hope to catch something..like a Walleye. Angling in my opinion is boring.
Now take a dark house..one with no windows. That is where the action is. A large hole about 3 feet by 2 feet is cut through the ice. Then you put on a decoy and sit next to the hole and move the decoy up and down and wait for a big hungry Northern to come it to snatch your bait..and then you spear him and drag him out of the water and throw him out on the ice to slowly die..and still be refrigerated..because it is cold outside and it is warm inside your fish house because you have a small stove of some kind ..wood or propane to keep you warm as toast whilst you wait for the next fish to attack your decoy. Sometimes you drink coffee and eat cookies..or have your lunch. ( Some people have been known to drink alcoholic beverages most of the day and then spend all night in the bathtub because it was close to the toilet after skipping lunch and cookies with coffee…it was not me..I do not like Blackberry Brandy.)
Anyways I have fished in dark houses since I was little..we used to go with Dad during the winter. Far Guy went with his Dad to the dark house too. We in turn took our girls when they were small..small kids get a rope around their waist..so you can fish them back out if they fall in. No they never fell in, but if they had we could have pulled them out. Some parents tie their small kids to the chairs.
Fish houses have changed over the years.
Here is a typical one.
This is a dark house or spearing house..it is called a dark house..because it is dark inside except for the hole..the sunlight filters through the snow and ice, you can see the bottom of the lake and weeds and fish as they swim around. It is much like a lit up TV screen!
This is a angling house. Small holes like in the second photo..where you watch your bobber go up and down when you get a bite. Ho—hum.
This one just happens to be made out of a semi sleeper.
This is a angling house.
Made from tin and a old pickup topper.
It is interesting to see all the different houses that are built and what is recycled. It also brings up many memories of days whiled away in the fish house:)
I and nearly all other members of my large extended relation are descended from long lines of Minnesota and Scandinavian ancestors -- but I have never understood the "lure" of ice fishing. If I thought sitting in a closet for many hours at a time could ever be fun, I'd do it at home. Of course, the fact that my Charlotta and I both dislike most fish may have something to do with that.
Morning, how interesting to see what all the differnt fishing shacks are made out of......neat post, Francine.
How interesting - I'm glad you posted more on the fish houses :-)
I was always tied to the chair. My worry was that now not only do I fall in the hole, but I fall in with the chair too... then sink straight to the bottom since it is a metal chair!
Very interesting post.
What an educational post. I have never been ice fishing, so I learned something new today.
Very interesting! I didn't know there were different styles and practices.
There's an idea for a coffee table picture book. "Ice Houses Of Minnesota" I think it would be a great Christmas gift for those guys who are hard to buy for. I'm thinking about writing one called "Deer Stands Of Wisconsin." Stay warm my friend!!
Amazing how creative they get with their ice houses isn't it! I was amazed the new sleds that they have in the sporting goods stores for ice fishing. They've come a long way from the lawn chair and 5 gallon buckets!
Never been ice fishing...and now I think after your very interesting description, no...and thank you very much.
I did love the ice houses...must be like having your own personal doll house.
A whole new education for me here! We don't get those heavy freezes for long periods of time, so I don't think there's much ice fishing being done.
I've seen ice houses but didn't realize there were different kinds. Not many ice houses around here. People do drive on the lakes and ice fish, but don't set up camp like the fishermen/women in your area.
That was interesting, and fascinating to see what people use to make their ice houses. Now I like the idea of the big hole lit up like a tv and being able to see the bottom of the lake, although I don't think I'd last all day. I didn't like the idea of throwing the fish out on the snow to die slowly.
It doesn't get anywhere near cold enough in our neck of the woods for ice fishing, but it does in other parts of the province.
How inventive people can be! I've never lived in an area where these are used, but it sounds like a fun family activity.
I wasn't aware that there were two types of ice fishing. we only did the jigging and didn't have houses when I was little kid. The houses you show are almost an art form as they are made from so many different materials.
Your stories of the ice houses amaze me. 'Somethin' I've never down but if I did you'd find me in a 'dark house' where the real action is!!!
Loved the pics of the different types of fish houses.
Have an awesomely blessed day sweetie!!! :o)
What a different world. The things I learn, just from reading your blog! :)
I love Perch and Walleye. Loved your post, too, Connie. :o)
Lots of these in the U.P. too!!
Wow! To have been ice fishing at all is amazing to me, and you have done it your whole life. Interesting little houses on the ice. :-)
I swear I learn so much from you! I always wondered about ice houses. I've never been near one but wondered how they could have a stove and heat? Doesn't that melt the ice? Some are really fancy I hear from Garrison Keillor. Televisions? Really? How fancy can they get? Some had windows it looked like...the semi sleeper and the truck topper. I'd like to see what it looks like in the dark one where you can see the lake like a t.v. screen. It's all fascinating!
As for the snowmobiles...I used to like it on the farm when it snowed...quiet and no one on the roads and no crime....and then came the noise of the snow mobiles...argh...but now that I'm getting old I think....what if there was an emergency...a snowmobile may be the only thing that could get through! I'm still debating that in my mind.
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