Time to stock up on bourbon and worms. This weekend, while stumbling through the snow looking for beer — a hash is a grand drunken ritual of foraging, isn’t it? — I saw the insane people out trying to walk on water at Monona Bay. The ice looked translucently unsafe by Mendenhall Lake, Juneau, standards. But there they were, Madison fishermen and their shacks and buckets all little dots in the distance. It almost made me want to detour from beer-hunting to see if they’d caught anything yet.
Ice-fishing: a major reason I was OK with moving to Madison. I’ve heard it’s not everyone’s mug of beer, but I can’t understand why. Meditative solitude, fresh air, free fish!
Free petite fish, that is (flip to 2:20 for the “big, giant bluegill”). I’m going to give the lake a couple more cold days like today. And then I’ll be mooching an auger, drinking beer, and pulling up tiny little live baits with the best of ’em. Also I’m going to have to flip a coin with W. to see whose tent we’re going to cut a fish-hole in.
I have much to learn. What is the proper ice-fishing lure or bait? The best ice-fishing drink? Appropriate reading material? Please advise. On my list for the moment: Fish heads, coffee with bourbon, and, of course, the New Yorker. I’m waiting for their Winter Fishing Issue.