Monday, December 29, 2008

Ice Fishing,...

As soon as Lake Champlain and other Adirondack lakes freeze to a safe thickness the annual trek begins to catch a "mess" of fish. The fish most popular fish are either Smelt or Perch. Local organizations such as churches, fire departments or restaurants host fish frys. The small smelt are fried crisp and eaten complete with tails! Those are my favorites.

These photos were taken yesterday at Lake Champlain's South Bay just north of Whitehall, NY.

Some people fish from inside shantys complete with small stoves for heat. Circular holes are cut in the floor to match the holes cut in the ice. However these hardy folks were just sitting outside on pails. Fortunately the day was mild.




13 comments:

City Mouse said...

I've always thought that ice fishing looked really neat. I have a few retired friends who make a big thing of it much of the winter. Unfortunately - I don't have the taste for fish. Can't stand the stuff! I would give my fish away, I guess. =)

Shellmo said...

Looks like the water isn't frozen enough yet - hope those guys stay afloat!

NCmountainwoman said...

That ice really doesn't look uniformly thick enough for fishing. But that may be an optical illusion.

We used to love watching the ice shanties go up on the lakes when we lived in WI. Some of them are state of the art with all the comforts of home.

Rocky Mtn. Girl said...

We used to do a lot of the ice fishing ourselves but because of my medications, it has caused my body to not be able to tolerate the cold anymore... sigh but it is fun!!
It looks as if there's a bit of water on the ice, or is it just from some rains...?
Wonderful photos and it brings back some good memories... I cannot wait to get back out fishing in the summertime!!!
(((Hugs)))
~Michele~

Cedar ... said...

The lake is frozen solid all the way across there in that very narrow section. There is some rain water on the ice, but I'm sure there is several inches of good ice. We've had some very cold weather until the last two days and the lake has been "making ice" for some time. It does look odd, though, doesn't it?

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Wooooo Cedar... Looks COLD to me!!!! Since I'm an ole southern girl, I'm not sure I could stand being outside doing some "ice fishing." My Dad loved to fish --so he may have enjoyed it. Do those guys sell what they catch--or are they just locals fishing for the family or as you said, for fish frys??? Great post...
Hugs,
Betsy

Carole said...

I have never had smelt, but I would like to try it sometime, it sounds kinda good! I don't think, however, sitting on a pail for a few hours trying to CATCH smelt, sounds like very much fun - I would definitely rather EAT it. :-P

Cedar ... said...

Betsy, yes they will sell fish, by the pound. But the best thing was when a neighbor would stop by in the late afternoon and give us a pail of fish. Downside of it all was that my husband was a dairy farmer, out at the barn milking cows, so I was the one that had to stand at the sink for a couple of hours "cleaning" the fish. But being a country girl it was a job I knew how to do and I just "got 'er done!"

troutbirder said...

We used to have similar "smelt feeds" from Lake Superior spring run. Now that is largely a thing of the past with the smelt run diminished greatly. It was fun to see Lake Champlain winter pictures. We did a Lake cruise there in early Oct. on our New England "leaf peeper" tour!

montucky said...

I've done that a few times, but there are lots of things to do in winter that I enjoy more. It is interesting to see that the catch there is smelt and perch. Smelt don't live in Montana, but we can buy them in stores to use as bait for ice fishing where Northern Pike (and some trout) are the quarry.

Denise said...

mmmmm I love perch. We don't have many perch on our lake, maybe because our bass are getting bigger. Here in Michigan, the places for smelt are on the rivers where they 'dip' for them. Hubby has never tried it, but he likes smelt. Hubby has a fancy shmancy shanty...and other smaller shanty's. If I don't call him in to eat, he'd stay out there.

EcoRover said...

Used to do a little ice fishing, but could never get too fanatical (as I am with flyfishing). And it' much warmer to cross country ski! Thanks for the good story & pics.

Mona at Cabin and Camp said...

Love these pictures! My husband and his Dad were great ice fishermen in their day. They never used a shanty. My husband fell through more than once, but he always went back! (Says something about him, doesn't it??)

Mona