Thursday, January 24, 2013

Catch me if you can?

Most people would find it disconcerting to wake up at 2 a.m. to the sound of “clink, clink,” a few dirty words and a man crawling around on the floor.

I just sat back and watched the show.

My husband and I recently returned from an ice fishing trip on Mille Lacs, renting a fish house from Appeldoorn’s Sunset Bay Resort. We spent three days in a 10 x 14 foot fish house and never got in an argument, so we must have managed to keep ourselves sufficiently entertained.

We caught some beautiful walleye, most of which had to be returned to the icy waters because they were outside the slot limits. Including the one that gulped our minnow at 2 a.m., causing the rattle wheel to go off and giving me a bit of cheap entertainment.

Clink, clink.

My husband flew out of his bunk and dove for the hole, never an easy task because first you have to figure out which one just hit. He groggily set the hook, then started to hand-over-hand the line up out of the hole. He had a pretty walleye at the top of the ice hole when it bit the line and tried to back up down the hole. Eric reached down to grab the fish, but when he hauled it in, it wiggled out of his hands and landed on the ice, trapped between the hole in the house and the hole in the house.

That was when the dirty words started. The fish was flopping around on top of the ice and Eric was flopping around on the floor of the fish house trying to reach it. He had pretty much shoved himself from the waist up through the house hole, so some of the swear words were mercifully muffled.

Instead of being the least bit helpful, I just snuggled deeper into my sleeping bag and tried to keep my giggles quiet. I figured if he heard me belly-laughing while he was battling nature, he might not appreciate it, thus breaking our no argument streak.

I didn’t tell him until the next day that I had watched the whole thing.

Getting away for a weekend of ice fishing might not be everyone’s idea of a good time, but it is something we enjoy doing together.

The house itself was warm, clean, comfortable and user friendly, with four fishing holes, four bunks, a table, chairs, a small cupboard and a small stove/oven combo. General Manager Paul Waldowski, who we have met several times before (he let me take over his kitchen once during a fall fishing trip) stopped by to visit, and his son Alex stopped by a couple times to check on us. When we had a small problem with holes icing over during a rather blustery storm, I let Paul know and someone was out there solving the problem within a short time and with a smile.

It was tough, as it always is, to come back to real life after a few days of camping out in the fish house, but at least I know there’s plenty of ice this year, so another trip is always around the corner, even if it’s just a day trip in the portable or a weekend in our permanent house out on Lake Shetek or Lime Lake.

Of course, after this week’s temperatures, a week of deep sea fishing in Acapulco sounds nice, too.

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