Ice Fishing for the Novice
One of the most enjoyable times a person can spend is fishing for your favorite species. This is especially true at Lake of the Woods, the largest fresh water lake next to the Great Lakes in the United States. There are 14,552 islands and over 65,000 miles of shoreline to capture your attention at any time. However, as wonderful as open water fishing is, there is another aspect of fishing that not all people know about. The waters of Lake of the Woods freeze over completely this time of the year and suddenly you will see a whole city of houses placed in various spots on the lake. It has been said that the “city” consists of over 3,000 houses of many varieties and colors. A site to behold!!! Let’s describe this experience from the eyes of a novice angler.
First, choose the resort of your preference and let them drive you on a well maintained ice road (actually plowed and graded) in a track vehicle fully equipped to take you up over an island and out to the great expanse of ice and snow. Ice can reach depths of over 50” throughout the winter. Before your arrival, guides have gone out to the ice “shacks” and opened holes, turned up the furnaces, and placed poles and bait for your use. These little houses are toasty by the time you arrive and you’ll be taking off a few layers of clothing to get ready for the catch. You might have brought along a thermos of coffee and your favorite sandwiches or snacks and now you are ready for a full day of fishing fun. There is no other sport that compares to this!!!
The guides will set you up, teach you to feel the bottom, teach you how to jig and what color to use to lure (pun intended) those fish up the holes and into your bucket and eventually to your table. Exciting? The sounds of excitement will be heard house to house as screams of delight are heard when that fish flies out of the hole. Every fish caught is an extreme accomplishment no matter what size it is.
Soon, limits of fish are caught and you look out over the horizon and it seems as though creation smiles at you as you will see some of the most gorgeous sunsets to ever behold. Guides that have checked on you many times during the day will now arrive again to transport you back to your favorite resort. Now….you are no longer a “novice” but an experienced ice angler. Men and women alike can’t wait to return to these waters year after year for their fishing fun on the ice. Come…there’s lots of room!!!