Two Weeks on the Ice: Daily Log 11

Prepping for the main event on the last official business day in the ice office

Two Weeks on the Ice: Daily Log 11

This story is part of a series on ice-fishing culture. To read all series posts, click here.

Friday, February 8, 2019
11:41 a.m.
2 degrees
Rhinelander, USA

Hello, walls
How'd things go for you today?

It’s technically my day off, and I had a previously scheduled appointment this morning, so I’m getting a late start. I also made a couple other stops to stock up some necessities for the weekend — propane, forks and plates, matches, and a Sunkist for this afternoon.

The wind is coming hard across the lake, building drifts with several more inches of fresh snow. But the heaters are humming and I’m excited to be in the shack today.  

The plow guy is back clearing us out.

There’s a heavy snowload on the Snake Chaser’s roof. We’re going to have to address it this afternoon. We’ve got water dripping down the old vent hood pipe over the stove. 

I was sad leaving yesterday after my last full day to myself out here, but I’m excited today to have friends coming in. I’m looking forward to the weekend and everyone being here for the Jambo. Right now I need to re-tie a couple of my rigs after the strange end to yesterday, and then I’m going to get fishing. 

I’m tying my braided line to 9-inch black Berkeley Steelon wire-wound leaders, with #4 Mustad Ultra Point trebles. They have a shiny steel-black color that’s quite appealing. 

Two boards are getting freshly set up that way. The third I’m leaving as is, with the hand-tied green SST steel leader and standard #8 treble hook. I had two flags and caught a fish on that board the other day.

Pete’s snowblowing around the shack. I’m still cleaning up my gear. 

Tony is in camp. Up from his place somewhere along the Illinois border. There’s always great debate over which side of the line it falls on, but guys like to call him Illinois. Tony’s had fish on the board during the Jambo a couple times. One enterprising young pike hung onto fifth place. 

The plow guy is now working for the neighbors’ shack.

Steve just made a quick appearance on his lunch break. 

A new shack rule has just been implemented: On any pool or bet, catching a mudpuppy is an automatic full re-ante.

I’m not even fishing. It’s too good in the shack. 

She don’t know she’s beautiful
Though time and time I’ve told her so 

Guys are saying 30-packs are the new 12-packs. 

Serious debate over the designated hitter in baseball. Form your own opinions. 

If a bag of peanuts expired June 17, 2013, but they haven’t been opened, are they still good? Mixed opinions, but I threw them out. 

It feels a lot like the day before deer season. Guys are moving into camp, getting situated. Everyone’s happy to see each other. Expectations are high. No one would choose to be anywhere else. 

Enter Beaver Bawb Turk. Legally, it’s Bob. But it’s pronounced Bawb. He’s my good friend Chris’ dad, and he’s a friend too. He comes out and cooks for us sometimes. Loves a good cheap beer. Hell of a man. 

The menu for tomorrow is taking shape, but not without great debate. It’s venison heavy, I know that much. 

We’re talking about Bawb’s time serving in Berlin, from 1964-67. Showing force against the Russians — hard not to respect that. He had the only heated truck in his unit and had to drive his boss everywhere. Apparently he liked a little whiskey for breakfast, which made for interesting times. I appreciate Bawb’s service, and hearing his stories. 

The crew next door just brought in a huge smoker. I like their style. 

You never seem to have enough time
To do the things you want to do
When you find them 

It’s not classic country, per se, but damn it fits right.

The sun’s shining in the windows. It’s shining into my heart. 

Topper’s in the shack. We deer hunt together. We’d been trying to get him to plow for us before the random plow guy took care of business. We never told Top we got plowed out, so he showed up to see what we needed. Great guy. 

I don’t think they have seatbelts in Amish buggies. 

Welcome, Ryan. 

Lee has entered the Snake Chaser with a photo of me and my musky from last weekend. It features me in the role of Jesus, sharing my fish at the last supper. 

A shack that had to be at least 24 feet — it appears to be a fully functioning camper — just came by on one of the new roads plow guy has been running everywhere. Luckily the snow banks along the roads seem to be providing a nice barrier to Coop’s Bay. 

My laptop is down to 7 percent. I’m not firing up the generator today. My log is almost done, but my night isn’t.

Never put a board in today. Great day of fishing. Looking forward to tomorrow. 

I wouldn’t have missed it for the world
Wouldn’t have missed one minute with you

This story is part of a series on ice-fishing culture. To read all series posts, click here.


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