A good ice-fishing season, yet spring awaits

By Bill Bartusek

This past weekend I found myself on my last ice-fishing outing at the Cabin. There is still plenty of ice, and the season isn't over, but because of prior commitments, Easter and gas prices, Brenda and I will not return to the lake until sometime in April. By then, I would think the ice will be unstable, and the shores should be broken open.

We even mounted a couple of wood duck houses, knowing the ducks could be there before we return. I was joined for the weekend trip by my neighbor Steve Fisher and my long-time friend Lenny Adamek. Steve had ice fished at our cabin before, but Lenny had only fished the lake from my boat. So we loaded up Friday afternoon and began the three-hour trip to the cabin.

When we arrived at the lake, there was still quite a bit of snow around. The snow on the ice was almost gone. There were also quite a few anglers fishing the area where we usually ice fish. This was unusual; normally there aren't many anglers on the ice on Fridays.

When we awoke Saturday, it was cool, 12 degrees outside, with a brisk north wind. We headed out to our area and started to fish, but soon it became apparent the fish had moved from last week. So we loaded our gear and headed for an area across the lake where I had fished before. No one had fished this area for a very long time.

We drilled a lot of holes before we finally located some nice crappies and sunfish. About five in the afternoon we had all the fish we wanted. By then, several of our neighbors had joined us. We headed into a neighbor's heated garage to have a fish-cleaning party. All the neighbors joined us there. We had drinks and snacks while we cleaned fish and visited. After the fish were cleaned, I sat down to relax and take in the day.

How lucky Brenda and I are to have such great neighbors up north. The good fishing is just a bonus. It's no wonder we love to head for the cabin every chance we get. As I locked the doors Sunday, I thought about the great weekend we just enjoyed. Brenda and I can't wait to get back up to see our friends again in April.

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