Ice Fishing and Everything Ice: Updated

Ice covered lake near Hayward, WI. Photo by James Church 12.2.

Icefishing and ice covered lakes in the Midwest provide winter recreation galore. The photo above shows a fishing shack, auger, and a beautiful view of an early December moon. The ice is 2.5 inches thick according to James Church, the photographer. Even to some who live in Wisconsin or Minnesota, that might be iffy for reliability, and certainly not thick enough to drive a vehicle. Someone else kidded that in the right spot, with moving up and down they’d achieve the wobble effect. The middle and southern areas of Wisconsin have no ice cover.

Flin Flon, Manitoba, Canada

When I taught, I’d often study a town of the week. Once I learned about the city of Flin Flon, a Canadian community of 5,000 north of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Short summers, as you can imagine, and a lake nearby where the locals fished year around. Toward the end of winter the ice in that lake was nearly 4 feet thick, and with that I’m guessing it was June before the ice disappeared.

Amery, WI, Lake Skating

A story I wrote for the Amery newspaper a year ago dealt with the lakes near our “City of Lakes”, three lakes to choose from. November of that year, 1943, was terribly cold but no snow fell well into December. The result: the lakes became huge, nearly endless skating rinks. The teller of the tale said he’d come home from school, do his homework and his chores, and eat supper before he could be released to skate with friends. The moonlight and streetlights, I’m guessing, provided enough to light up the natural rinks. And imagine weekends, skating for hours on a Saturday or Sunday. From looking at the Amery newspaper, I learned every 10 to 12 years that happened where they could skate until the first significant snowfall.

Painting of Norwegian women washing clothes in the winter.

Will find other ice fishing pictures, the above painting is one I had in my media collection.

North Twin, Amery, WI

The Catholic Church in my hometown held a fishing contest, about the middle of February, a good time to get out and socialize and fish for prizes. North Twin Lake saw much activity on that Sunday.
Then in the spring someone pulled an old car onto the ice, and people guessed the date and time it would sink. For that they got a prize, or maybe they’d get to keep the old car.

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