The alarm goes off at 5:45 a.m. I roll out of my extremely warm and comfy bed and tip toe down the stairs so I don't wake the wife and kids up. I start a pot of coffee and get my multiple layers of clothes on starting with my long johns and finishing with my very thick and hard to walk in car-hart bibs. Finally I make my way outside, my first deep breath of the cold January air makes my lungs feel like they have turned to ice and I strongly consider turning around and getting back into my warm bed, but something inside me (probably stupidity) keeps me heading towards the truck. I load all my gear and head off down the road. The temperature gage in my truck reads -3 degrees and it's at this point that I realize I probably made a big mistake getting out of bed but it's too late now, I'm already on the road and my brother is waiting for me to pick him up. To do what you ask? We're going ice fishing!
So I pick up my brother and we head to the lake. We pull into the parking lot and sit for a while in the nice warm cab of the truck sipping our coffee while mentally preparing ourselves for what we are about to do. Eventually we get enough ambition to get out and unpack our stuff. Ice tentcheck, lanterncheck, heater check, fishing polescheck, auger... check. We're ready to head out on to the ice! With all our gear in tow we slowly make our way across the frozen lake to find a good spot to fish. The walk seems to take forever due to the fact that we are walking straight into the wind and it feels like ice needles penetrating every inch of skin on our faces. By the time we get to our spot our backs and elbows are sore from falling on the slippery ice a half a dozen times, but we made it! We eventually get our ice tent up, our heaters going and our lines in the water. We're finally fishing!
Many of you are probably thinking of a lot of different words to describe me right now, such as, stupid, crazy, dumb and many others that I can't write in a news article. But the fact of the matter is, for me it has almost nothing to do with fishing. Sure it's great if we catch a bucket full of bluegills or crappies to eat but it's more about getting out of the house and doing something. As my dad would so eloquently say, "You need to get out and get the stink blown off of you." I spend the majority of the year outdoors hunting fishing and working, so when January comes around and most of the hunting seasons are done, I need something to keep me sane, and for me that's ice fishing. People may think it's crazy to get up at the crack of dawn and go sit on a frozen piece of ice, but I think it's crazy to waste a Saturday morning sleeping in and spending the day wasting away in front of a TV. For me, it's ice fishing, for others it might be cross country skiing or taking your kids sledding. Whatever it is you choose to do this winter has got to be better than sitting inside all day. So get out there and get the stink blown off of you!