Heading out at the cottage in hopes of reeling in the big one can be just as exciting in the winter months as it is the rest of the year. In fact, if you talk to skilled anglers, some prefer the ice huts and 6-inch holes to the roar of a boat motor, bug repellant, and sunscreen. When I asked my husband about ice fishing at the cottage, he reclined back in his chair with a big smile on his face. It was clear he had transported himself to a cold day in January, dashing between holes in the ice (he always makes at least two) hoping that he had hooked a fish. When he awoke from his daydream, he told me a few things that he loves about ice fishing at the cottage.
There are always spots on the lake in the summer that don’t produce quite the way they should. That “honey hole” that is stocked with fish is also usually stocked with other boats. And if you aren’t dealing with boat traffic, it is always hard to anchor because you are in a head-to-head battle with the wind, pushing you on and off the shoal. But in the winter months, you can park your lawnchair (or sit in a hut if you want to stay a while!), listen to the crunch of the snow underfoot, and land all those fish that you always miss in the summer. It can be a much more solemn experience, and while you may spend the summer evenings casting over and over again in pursuit of a fish, with ice fishing, you drop your line in the hole and wait for the big one to come to you.
Ice fishing can leave you with buckets of fresh perch, lake trout, white fish, and a serious chill. The warmth and comfort of the cottage is an angler’s favourite way to end a day on the ice—especially my angler. His ice fishing daydream always ends in the cottage with a fresh, delicious white-fish meal, a roaring fire, and a cozy bed to lay his tired body, where he can no doubt dream of more days on the ice.