Sunday, January 24, 2010

Ice Fishing 101

We have owned our lake cabin since May of last year. This summer there were many fish caught - none of them were caught by me. Now the lake is frozen and we are ice fishing. Again many fish have been caught - none of them by me.

Both kids were home this past weekend

to spend some time at the cabin ice fishing.

They wanted to show me the ice fishing ropes.

I showed up at the cabin wearing this coat.
The kids just shock their heads.

Lesson number 1: You do not ice fish in a wool plaid coat and leather gloves. Who knew you needed special clothing to catch a fish? I guess you need Gortex™, Under Armour® and a goofy bomber hat - none of which I own.
And really, do you think the fish know what you are wearing?

Apparently they do.
(Remember to click on pictures to enlarge.)

Years ago everyone fished in wool coats - heck they fished in wool everything.
Wool coat, wool pants, wool plaid shirt, wool underwear and wool socks,
and they caught plenty of fish.
I'm just sayn' I don't think my problem is my clothing.

As soon as you get inside your hut, you take your coat off.
So does it really matter?
(Yes it is toasty warm in the little hut.)

And what is this? I ask.

Lesson #2:
You need weed to catch fish. Weed???
Gortex, a bomber hat and weed??? I don’t have any of these items.
The kids quickly set me straight. Fake vegetation. I guess you put some fake vegetation in the lake. Hopefully the fish will think it is a home??

I don't think the fish are buying it.

Lesson number 3: You need patience. I don’t have a lot of patience, so after a while I embarrassed my children by walking around the lake, in WOOL, to snap some pictures.

There is a whole little village out on the lake.
Can you guess which hut is ours?

Why yes, it is the one with the quilt on top of the roof.

(This is to cut down on condensation.)

I bet the fish are having a hey day with this one.

If you are interested in making this quilt for your ice hut - or any other reason, check it out at Pattern #374 It's a Guy Thing. This quilt uses the stack and slice method of piecing, so it is quick and easy.

The wheel house behind our little hut is the Ice House Mansion. It seats 6 fishermen and a dog comfortably. However, the house has rules.

I see by rule number #3 that Bimbo and Bruce rule!

I also learned that some wagering goes on at the mansion.
Who is going to catch the biggest fish?
I am betting it is not me.

This little wheel house is Anthony and Bruce’s dream.
It is just the right size - seats 4.
They bought plans to make one,
but have decided it may be cheaper
to buy a good used one.

Frosty has just come in from a ski across the lake.
I don’t know if he has lost his face or if he has his back to me???

After my little stroll around the lake, I decided to make the fisherman a pot of chili.
We prefer plain ol' chili. If you like yours all doctored up this is not the chili for you.

Plain Ol’ Chili

1 lb. hamburger browned.
1 onion chopped
2 small cans light red kidney beans
1 lg. can petite diced tomatoes
1 can tomato juice
3 Tblsp. chili powder
2 Tblsp. vinegar

Simmer until onions are softened.
Ladle into bowls and top with a small pad of butter.

Our family is not a cracker crusher family. We never crush our crackers.
We like to spread them with cheese spread and eat them with our chili not in our chili.

Cheese Spread
1 jar Kraft Old English Cheese
1 tub soft margarine
Mix together and spread on crackers.
You can also spread this on French bread,
sprinkle with garlic salt and broil until bubbly.

While the chili simmers, I will see if I can catch a fish…

Fish tally:
Bruce: 3
Anthony: 4
Abby: 3
Me: 0

I failed Ice Fishing 101. :-(

From my heart,


  1. Since moving to Maine four years ago - in a region of lakes and ponds - we have been amused by the little shack cities that grow on the frozen water, and a bit bemused by WHY. If the tradition exists there as here, I would never even attempt to catch my first fish - you have to bite off the head.

  2. Being a former Minnesotan, I can totally picture this whole scene. Of course, you described it perfectly. I especially loved the quilt topped hut. What a fun day you had! Thanks for sharing it! It was great to wake up this morning and read about your fishing day and laughing out loud.

  3. BUT - I bet the fish like you MOST..LOL

    I'll leave the ice fishing to everyone else. As I was growing, I asked Dad if I could ride the snowmobiles while they fished. Yeap, that's what I was doing - I wasn't fishing. LOL

  4. Your underwater pictures are amazing!. Wow, you even captured the fish laughing! (LOL)

    Even though you flunked, I bet you had a good time. Looks like fun to me.

  5. I love this post. Love it! Such a neat trip into the arctic wilderness for me... OK, technically any place that has snow is arctic wilderness when you live in Arizona. I think my main purpose there would be to sit by the fire, stir the chili and nibble on crackers with that cheese spread. I thought your coat was cute.

  6. Sandy, LOLOLOL!! I too failed ice fishing 101 but they blamed my failure on the fact that I was too engrossed in my piecing and not paying attention to the fishing! Oh well, life goes on! :))

  7. This is a very timely post for me - I work for a dinner theater in Wisconsin (The Armory), and in March - April we're doing a show called "Guys on Ice," which is a musical about ice fishing. Seriously! It has songs like "Ode to a Snowmobile Suit." It's supposed to be incredibly funny, and I'm really looking forward to it, but I know NOTHING about ice fishing. Thanks for the tour of the lake! Although I made a quilt for another show (Nunsense), I think they'd probably call me nuts if I offered to make one for their shanty ('cause you know it's going to be a rickety old shanty, not a mansion).

  8. I have never ice fished, but I have made the quilt, "It's a guy thing"...which I immediately recognized. It was a super fun quilt to make.

  9. Great pictures but I gotta fishing can only elevate the boringness of fishing. Add the bitter cold and FORGET IT! :D

  10. Love your drawings. I think I would rather walk around the lake than fish too or even make chili! Thanks for sharing.

  11. Fun stories, Sandy. Not being at all familiar with ice fishing, I learned a bit from reading today's post. You have a fun sense of humor, and the cartoons are a hoot! Thanks for cheering my rainy Ohio day!

  12. I caught a fish once off our ocean pier----but it jumped off the hook before I could reel it in...So I am sure I would fail ice fishing too! Your drawings were hilarious but I think you were very fashionable and the fish were just jealous.

    Ice house quilts--a new category is born, LOL!

    Thanks for the fun!

  13. Your post was a hoot!!!! I had never even known ice fishing existed till I saw the movie "Grumpy Old Men" (or maybe grumpier) so I'm beginning to think this is not a "serious" sport! Your post was even funnier & your drawings were hysterical!

  14. I'm thinkin' you and your little brown coat & leather mitties should come to Storm Lake next weekend to partake in our annual fishin' contest, for real!
    Your lit'l sis

  15. Your post makes me laugh! We have a lake that's about 100yrds from our front door and I've been watching all of those little ice huts and all of those people out there just wondering if sitting on the ice is really that much fun!!??

  16. Our local theater here in Marquette, MI, did "Guys on Ice" last summer! It was a great show, and we enjoyed it immensely, especially since my hubby is an avid fisherman, including ice fishing. I showed him your pictures of the fish laughing at you, and he got a big kick out of them. He also liked the quilt on your ice shanty. Looks like I'll need to make him one when he finally gets his shanty. What a fun post!

  17. I think you need to design a line of fabric called "Ice Fishing". It would be so fun and appropriate for a quilted roof too!

  18. Loved your post. So funny. Thanks for sharing.

  19. I stink at fishing in warm weather, so there's no way I'd be up for this. I do love the quilt and your coat, though:)

  20. Oh so funny! I live in South Dakota and people Ice fish here too! Crazee I think! My husband says you probably aren't holding your mouth quite right to catch a fish...I had to read him the story and we had a great laugh! Thanks!

  21. New to your blog but everything in it made me laugh.. My sister lives in Wisconsin and she tells me ice fishing stories in her neck of the woods.. Of course, I love all your designs and fabrics.And the dress patterns remind me of high school, even tho' I am older than you.. It was so nostalgic. I am a new blogger, and I am really enjoying it. I have been addicted to blogs for about a year now and scared to blog.. It's so, thanks for the laughs..

  22. Wow I did not know there were so many rules for ice fishing. Of course I live in Florida, and we don't have to worry about ice fishing rules ;-) BUT we do like Chili, and my recipe is similar to yours. We are split about cracker crushers. Half do, half would never alter their chili in that fashion. Have fun and enjoy your ice. I'm enjoying the sunshine ;-D

  23. Love your blog stories, Sandy. What a hoot. Living in WI with 2 grown sons who do some ice fishing, I can totally relate on the walk around the lake. I think the idea of a fabric line relating to ice fishing and vacation lake houses sounds great. Always a treat to read your blog, so light and funny.

  24. Sandy, I love this post. I have been curious about this odd hobby, but not enough to explore it. You had me laughing out loud (LOL)! Looking forward to exploring your blog further. Sherry

  25. I'm right there with ya!! Why would you want to be ice fishing wrapped up in goretex when you can do that in the summer wearing a cute swimsuit, great shades and a refreshing drink in hand.....well, I would skip the actual fishing and just provide entertainment for the actual fishermen & women!!
    Thanks for dinner the other night, it was great seeing you and hanging out for a while. Let's make it a regular every 6 weeks now;-)

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