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An Outdoorsman’s Journal – 1-23-2013

Good times on the Ice

Hello friends,

As usual this week’s column is about having a good time! My annual ice fishing trip up on the Chetac/Birch lake chain with Paul Bucher and several of his buddies was basically one laugh after another and we even caught some fish.

Friday, January 5th
High 23, low 8

This trip is like Christmas, it happens every year. Here is the scoop, my stepson Joey, who is 19 now, my very pregnant golden retriever “Fire” and myself drive up north in a very loaded ‘96”, Chevy pickup.

We arrive at our destination, which is a cabin on this beautiful chain of lakes where we meet Ryan Ransom and Paul Bucher. Several laughs are had with hundreds more to come and we headed out to perch paradise.

Paul Bucher has one of those super nice pull behind your truck ice shacks, which the four of us will call home when we are not in the cabin.

The ice is just thick enough to hold trucks and when we arrive at our really good buddy Chris Schiefelbein’s shack, he has some very good news.

Chris’s brother Craig is visiting for the weekend from southern Wisconsin and Craig’s three children Greta, Hans and Klaus are kicking butt on perch in the 8-11 inch category.

Greta falls in love with Fire and gives up fishing. Joey, Paul, Ryan and myself start fishing in Paul’s shack and absolutely can do nothing wrong when it comes to catching perch.

At dark, we are praying that we are over water/ice that holds crappie and we begin jigging/slip bobbering and the rate of laughter increases ten fold as the night wears on.

Well after dark, we have not had any crappie action and I head into the Schieflebein’s shack (he is home, I think he had to do the dishes or vacuum the carpet). My plan is to heat up 15-pounds of hot dish that I made the night before.

It is kind of froze, and I get bored so I head back into the “fun shack” with the plan of having Joey finish cooking dinner.

I must have been a bit late in telling Joey to stir supper, because when he returned from his task, our shack and Joey immediately smelled like a burning barrel.

Not wanting to waste good food, I dished out three pounds of “ash” for each person and ate every bit of mine; I wish I could say the same for Mr. Bucher.

Every once in a while, as the hours ticked by, one of us would miss a fish on our slip bobber rigs, My buddies are extremely electronic and live and die by their next bite, I am a bit more casual. We made a bet for a buck on the first crappie and at 8:34 yours truly won that bet, kissed the crappie and all was perfect in my world.

Saturday, January 5th
High 24, low 5

Today was a mixed bag; stay on the ice till well after the Packer game kind of a day.

First, as is life in the fishing world, the perch were not as hungry as they were yesterday. Today our numbers grew by about five with Paul’s neighbors Tony Ficocello, his daughter Angie and Ben Heinecke as well as Preston Johnson joining our group.

Pretty much our day was spent watching slip bobbers and a few tip ups. Angie Ficocello dead lined without the slip bobber and had really good luck with dead minnows. For the most part Angie, Paul, Tony, Preston, Ryan and Ben spent the entire day outside and I was impressed with how tough and patient they were.

The tip ups were flat with one northern pike being caught, about dark, we were all conversing in extremely intelligent conversation when Joey had a flag and iced a beautiful 26-inch walleye, which he released.

Later, Joey, Paul, Ryan, and myself listened to the Packers/Vikings game and that was pretty interesting as well Ryan and Paul like the Vikings, Joey and I do not! A few crappie were caught, the Pack won their last game of the season and no one (including Fire) wanted left over hot dish.

We had fun!  Sunset

THIS WEE’KS COLUMN IS SPONSORED BY: Cedar Country Cooperative.