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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Ice Fishing Village in My City

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This is Lake Nepco as it was back in the summer.

In winter you'd hardly recognize it - - - it's had a change of state.

A fishing village has appeared on its now solid surface, but don't take my word for it - - - as you know a picture is worth a thousand words.
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Since Fisherhubby didn't plan to ice fish today, these fishermen posed for my camera with their gear.  Yes, I really did ask two total strangers if they'd be on my blog.  They even smiled for the camera.

As you can see, they have all their ice fishing gear piled onto a plastic sled so they can pull it out onto the ice and back again.
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Trust me, it takes A LOT of gear to ice fish.  There's a special pole called a pop-up, an under the ice fish finder - - -
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an auger - preferably gas powered to drill through the thick ice, buckets for holding the fish AND sitting upon, tons of bait - - - and for some there are shanties.
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Just as soon as the ice is thick enough, the ice shanties begin to appear out in the middle of the lake.
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Many of these are placed into a village and remain there for the duration of the ice season.
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People drive their trucks or 4-wheelers out onto the ice right up to the door of their fishing shanty.
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Today as I watched, this truck began pulling its shanty to and fro.
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I'm not sure if he was coming, going, or just repositioning.

I suspect he was just repositioning because his back window flap was up the entire time.
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Some of these shanties even have heat - - - can you see the smoke coming out of the chimney on this one?  I suspect it is from a fire in a wood stove.

Some folks have their shanties rigged up with refrigerator, beds, furniture, and television.

I drove by shanty town late one night and noticed that many of them had electric lights.

I wonder how much fishing goes on - - - or if it is all just a ruse for a winter-long party.

This is, after all, Wisconsin - the beer capitol.  Oh yes, we "do dairy" here, but never think the dairy out did the beer.
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It appeared to be a busy day at shanty town, in spite of the 40 degree temperatures which were melting the surface snow and forming ponds all across the ice.

I was a bit leery to walk out onto the wet ice - though I was drastically in the minority.

There are fines.  If the ice becomes too thin, the shanty owner fails to take heed, and his shanty sinks he will pay in cold hard cash.

Pun intended.
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Some folks prefer to use more portable shelter like these tents.

They aren't as heavy as the shanties and not as likely to drop through the ice. 
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A very popular kind is called a "clam" and it swings up out of a plastic sled and back down in for easy set-up and removal.  If the fishing isn't good in one spot, it is a simple matter to move the clam to a new location.

Fisherhubby has his eye on one of these, but spent his Chirstmas moola on the under ice fish finder instead.
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Even man's best friend finds plenty to do in shanty town.
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And at the end of a long day, those who don't "live" in shanty town load up their sleds with all of the necessary fishing fru fru and head for shore in hopes of returning another day.
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Today I'm joining Unknown Mami
For Sundays in My City.
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Please hurry over to see
What others are sharing from their cities today.
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27 comments:

Kathy said...

Brrrrrrr!!! Now THAT looks waaaaay too cold!

retired not tired said...

Yes ice fishing in our neck of the woods hasn't been very safe. We just can't seem to stay cold enough. Maybe next week.

Wayne W Smith said...

A little different than the beach photos I posted last week. That is what makes Sundays in my City so special.

Dorothy said...

It's not cold enough for that here but far too cold for my taste so I'd like to not experience ice-fishing-cold! I do like the look of the lake in summer, though :) Right now I'm jealous of all things warm!

Tara R. said...

Even when I lived in Tennessee, it didn't get cold enough to freeze lakes hard enough to drive on. Ice fishing fascinates me.

Laurie Matherne said...

I have heard of fishing under ice and the special set ups for them, but I never have experienced in person. Hopefully, I never will. I don't care for ice and snow. However every culture has its streak of eccentricity. Now I know what your people do in your neck of the woods. Where I am from, we have the Swamp People.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

This in no way looks like fun to me but then I don't fish either!
hugs, Linda

StarTraci said...

Wow! I have seen frozen lakes in movies but have never lived in a place where that happens. What a unique opportunity to see such a dramatic change in nature.

Happy Sunday!
:-)
Traci

Poetic Shutterbug said...

Love the photos and captions. I never see snow where I live so these shots and the thought of ice fishing to me is exciting. Very much enjoyed your post.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

That just looks amazing to me. I just got back from the park...walking in shorts and a tee shirt! Of course...I LOVE the movie, New in Town and this makes me think of that! Sweet hugs!

Tracy said...

A bed? Surely they don't stay out there 24 hours/day.

podso said...

This just gives me the willies, especially the 40 degrees part. I guess they know how long it takes to melt the ice, but still sounds risky to me, but what do I know? !

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

I've been shivering while scrolling down to view these photos. Those strangers are cute and hospitable. Remind me not to ever visit you during the winter, though.

xoRobyn

Theresa said...

WOW, that's scary! I can't imagine sleeping out there on the frozen lake! I KNOW, they know what they are doing but dang... still a bit scary for this wimpy Southern Gal:) Have a blessed day, HUGS!

Tami said...

That is amazing how thick the ice must be that a stove could be ontop and still be safe!
Brandon would LOVE to play hockey on that sheet of ice!!

Sandy said...

Yes, I remember seeing those fishing shanties on the frozen parts of lakes. Especially when sturgeon spearing is going on....How crazy is that?
Love from High Point

Nita Davis said...

oh wow, now I will think of this when I hear the term 'shanty town'. I have always thought it a bit crazy to walk on a frozen lake let alone drive on it.

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Hi Keetha,
Well that ice fishing stuff is old hat to me but what a great post for newbies!
I kind of think a lot of those guys just like to get away from their wives all winter long. I never have understood the appeal but hey if it makes winter go faster...
Freezing my butt off over here...-6 right now. I suppose it's balmy and 0 by you! hehe.
Hugs,
Cindy

Dawn Castor said...

That's amazing! And crazy! And cool! Our ware here has hardly frozen, what little there is of it

Powdered Toast Man said...

I wonder if there is an underwater shanty town with all the sunken shanties like a shanty Atlantis.

Erin said...

Have you seen the movie Grumpy Old Men? That's what it reminds me of! I can't wrap my mind around a place that stays cold enough to freeze lakes that solid. We might occasionally have a little ice out on the edge, but I sure wouldn't want to go walking on it! :)

Vidya Sury said...

My first worry was, what if the ice thawed and the shanty went in? Then I read about the cold hard (and rather wet) cash. Last year when we visited Northeast India, we were supposed to go visit a couple of lakes, but couldn't because they were frozen. They were not even allowing people to approach it. Phew! As you know, I am yet to see my first snow! :D

I enjoyed this post, even if I am unlikely to go ice-fishing!

Hugs, Keetha. I just grabbed a cuppa java from the sidebar and love it!

SweetPepperRose said...

I'm with Erin. Being a Southerner, I can't imagine sitting, "shanty-ing" up, or even driving on top of water, frozen or not... Even though we have a pontoon boat, I'm a land lover ;-) Very interesting and enjoyable post!

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I do enjoy fishing but no way I would go ice fishing. I give them credit for their love of the sport!

Unknown Mami said...

So very foreign to me. I don't think I'd ever trust that the ice was thick enough even though obviously it is.

LL Cool Joe said...

But wouldn't the fires inside etc. cause the ice to melt? A tent is one thing but wow some of them look like houses!

Martin LaBar said...

Ah, yes, ice fishing. We don't have that here.