This past weekend I invited members of my team at work to head up to Sank’s cabin on Big Blake Lake in Western Wisconsin for some team building and ice fishing. Sank and I drove up on Friday night, braving the snow and ice as well as drunk Minnesota drivers weaving from shoulder to on-coming lanes to shoulder, to arrive just before midnight. We “slept in” until 7 AM, had breakfast at Ida Mae’s in Amery, and did some grocery/beer shopping. Around 10 AM I had the miserable pleasure of driving across the ice (30″+ or not, it was still scary) in Sank’s truck.
Around 10:30 AM the guys arrived and we sat around for a few hours while Sank prepped lunch and dinner and we waited for the temperature to come up above -451F so ice fishing wouldn’t be as miserable. After a lunch of gouda and cheddar grilled cheese with tomato/basil soup we headed to the ice before realizing that we had forgotten our fishing licenses while stocking up on booze. Oops.
After 2+ hours on the ice we had exactly one blue gill the size of the palm of my hand to show for it but we had an opportunity to see two new Minnesota transplants (one from TX the other from Ethiopia via Seattle) get out on the ice and stand around in single digit temps for a few hours drinking “Adult Snow Cones” (root beer schnapps and snow). While I wasn’t a fan of the cracking and popping while the truck drove across the ice that morning, I did enjoy the crazy noises the ice makes as it cracks as you stand there–something like a cross between sonic booms and trance music bass.
After cleaning up, which took almost as long as getting ready and far less than actual fishing time, we were back inside the cabin eating spaghetti and Bambi meatballs (which were to die for). After three meatballs and a little bit of pasta I was passed out on the couch for two hours. Man, nothing takes the wind out of your sails like a day on the ice. Wow. After the nap we watched Svengoolie and the Wolf Man while watching Sank pass out with his ultra friendly dog sleep on his chest. After a nice long nap of 6.5 hours, I “slept in” again until 7 AM on Sunday morning, helped clean and do dishes, and we were out the door by 8:15 and on our way home.
Overall it was another wonderful weekend with Sank and one that I enjoyed. I hadn’t been on the ice to fish since I was a young kid and while it’s not something I need to do anytime again soon, I would if someone asked. I think my team had a nice time and it was great to take another weekend to relax and enjoy myself.
When was the last time you were out doing some ice fishing? Is it something you enjoy? Do you drive in cars on the ice (30″+ or not)? Do you know what causes the crazy noises when it cracks? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.