Outdoor Notebook: Cold weather couldn?t stop a good day of fishing, football
The toughest Packer Game we could watch occurred last weekend. Our 14 year-old grandson, Jack, has watched us as we rooted for the Green Bay Packers. His comment was, “Hey guys. It is just a game”.
We realize that Jack is right, however at our house, as in many homes, most everything stops so we can “enjoy” a Packer game.
The game last Sunday against the Bears was a really tough game to watch. Just watching our quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, lead the team in a tough game after seven games of him watching his team play from the sidelines made us nervous. The Packers have played with numerous injuries to some of the better players this year and the fans have agonized along with them. In spite of these injuries we have watched some excellent football.
During the many years that this column has appeared in local papers I have mentioned hunting and fishing with my frequent partner referred to as “The Osseo Jinx.” Many of our readers know him but others may wonder who he is and how he got that name. We have been friends since our college days and even though he lives in the western part of Wisconsin in Osseo, we have managed to do a lot of hunting and fishing together. He would often phone to check on hunting or fishing conditions.
When he called I would explain that weather conditions were great and he should drive over to hunt or fish with us. We would soon be able to predict what would happen. Most often a severe cold front would blow in and fishing conditions would change drastically. Thus he became “The Osseo Jinx.” It seems that his power to negatively affect the weather took place this past week. The first day we were on the ice the thermometer dropped to double digits below zero. Oh well, “it is just a game.”
Last week, we piled out of bed early one day to get an early start on catching some fish for a good fish fry. Now remember that the “Jinx” was in Rhinelander to fish with me. Since we were preparing to fish with “The Jinx” we were really not surprised at the weather forecast for that day. It had been for temperatures of minus 20 degrees with a high of two degrees. That morning the temperature was minus 22 degrees. I’ve come to realize that his presence in Rhinelander really does affect the weather.
That day we spent a couple extra hours with a few cups of coffee hoping that it might warm up even a bit. When we did pull the pick-up out of the driveway the temperature was minus 17 with frost coating all the tree limbs and power lines.
This day was to be the first day of ice fishing for the year so we stopped at the home of a good friend for some tips. We headed north and drove out on the ice of an area lake. Our friend had been on the ice almost every day since deer season and offered some good information.
We parked in an area where there were several ice shacks and drilled three holes in the ice. We were quite surprised to see that the ice was about 20 inches thick. That is quite a thick ice cover for this early in the season.
Tom dropped his tiny jig baited with a waxie and lifted a nice blue gill from the hole in the ice. We fished until almost three o’clock then packed up our gear and headed home.
It was cold all day but we have a little pop-up ice shack that kept us out of the wind and a small L.P. heater that allowed us to fish with bare hands. We kept just more than 25 gills that will make an excellent fish fry.
Have a very Happy New Year and stay warm. Go Pack Go.
Longtime Northwoods outdoors personality Roger Sabota writes a bi-monthly column for the Star Journal.