Monday, January 7, 2013

Fish on!

I did some quick mental calculations the other day and came up with a sum of two. Yes, I said it was quick.

Two is the number of times I was able to go fishing in 2012. Some people might be OK with that, but I’m not one of them. I really like to fish, especially ice fishing in our permanent house, also known as Eric’s fort.

Between a grandbaby on the way, a lack of ice and busy schedules, we didn’t get much of a chance to fish last winter, so we made a point to head out to Lake Shetek this weekend, even taking a vacation day Friday to spend some serious time out on the lake.

Oh boy, did we have fun!

While we weren’t exactly slaying them, we did come home with a nice bucket of crappies. The walleye we caught were few and far between, and most too tiny to keep. That doesn’t, however, make them any less fun to catch.

My husband always says “Fish are just an interesting byproduct of the fishing experience.” I agree. On various fishing trips over the years, it’s the fun I remember the most. I’m the first to admit we are a silly group of people, so some memories over the years of fishing still make me laugh.

For example, my youngest son got bored during one trip and decided to play a game of cribbage. No one else wanted to play, so he challenged his necklace to a game. He would deal out both hands, then play each out. His necklace won.

Then there is the Blair Witch fishing video. I had sent Eric and the boys up to a lake up north for some guy time, and at one point Eric headed out to talk to a buddy who was at the same lake. The boys were trying to get fishing footage, and so the camera flips on as Matt is sitting in front of a hole with his ice fishing pole. Nick is operating the camera and narrating. I don’t know how long he had to stand there with the camera and wait, but pretty soon the video shows Matt’s rod bend with the weight of a fish.

He’s battling a walleye, and Nick must have forgotten he’s holding the camera, because the scene drifts in and out of the camera’s eye. It does happen to be focused on Matt just as he pulls a nice walleye through the ice, then catches the look of dismay on his face as the fish escapes the hook and dives back down the hole. Never one to quit when there’s a big walleye involved, Matt pretty much dives down the hole himself, shoving an arm into the cold water.

The camera at this point gets tossed onto a table sideways and all you can see is the wall of the fish house. In the background, you hear them yelling and jumping about as Nick bellows out instructions that consist of “Get it, get it, get it!”

There are whoops and banging and shouts, then a hoot of glee. The next shot the camera shows is one of Matt proudly holding a really nice fish, a smile the size of the fish on his face and his sweatshirt sleeve wet up to his shoulder.

I can’t watch it without laughing.

While we didn’t have quite the same adventure over the weekend, there was more than once Eric ended up with a wet sleeve while trying to capture a fish that jumped for freedom at the last moment.

I know, because I marked the occasion on the wall. We do that.

If you ever see us out on the lake, feel free to stop by and read the walls of our shack. There are a lot of stories inside that fort.

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