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Ice Fishing in Minnesota

The Ice on Bald Eagle Lake was about 6 inches thick last Saturday (Dec 13th, 2003). The ice fishermen were testing their luck. This gallery provides an intimate look at the equipment and methods used in this austere sport.
A gas powered drill is used by many to make a hole in the ice.
Drilling a hole.jpg

A gas powered drill is used by many to make a hole in the ice.

This is the path leading to the fishing spot.  The ice makes loud cracking sounds which gives one the impression that it isn't safe to walk on.
Crack in the ice.jpg

This is the path leading to the fishing spot. The ice makes loud cracking sounds which gives one the impression that it isn't safe to walk on.

Fishermen tow their portable ice houses to a fishing spot. The floor of the ice house acts as a sled.
Towing the BUD.jpg

Fishermen tow their portable ice houses to a fishing spot. The floor of the ice house acts as a sled.

Towing the Ice House.jpg
Towing the Ice House.jpg
Some fishermen bring chairs with them.
There is the spot.jpg

Some fishermen bring chairs with them.

Plan on your boots getting wet after the hole is drilled.
Success.jpg

Plan on your boots getting wet after the hole is drilled.

A manual auger or drill is used by some.  They work well, too.
Manual Auger.jpg

A manual auger or drill is used by some. They work well, too.

After holes are drilled, the remaining ice in the holes is scooped out with a large spoon with holes in it.
Scooping the drilled holes.jpg

After holes are drilled, the remaining ice in the holes is scooped out with a large spoon with holes in it.

An ice house was erected here earlier in the day.  The ice melted from exposure to the heater in the ice house and one fisherman turned the snow yellow.
Yellow Snow.jpg

An ice house was erected here earlier in the day. The ice melted from exposure to the heater in the ice house and one fisherman turned the snow yellow.

Some fishermen track the fish and their bait with radar.  This is not a cheap sport.
Fish Radar.jpg

Some fishermen track the fish and their bait with radar. This is not a cheap sport.

This fellow caught a northern pike, and he couldn't remove the hook from its mouth.
Caught Fish.jpg

This fellow caught a northern pike, and he couldn't remove the hook from its mouth.

Some fishermen are not very environmentally sensitive.  This one left a pile of cigarette butts next to his hole.
Hard day of work.jpg

Some fishermen are not very environmentally sensitive. This one left a pile of cigarette butts next to his hole.

Ice sailboats were flying by.  This one is nearly airborne.
Ice Sailing.jpg

Ice sailboats were flying by. This one is nearly airborne.

A northern pike on ice.
Pike.jpg

A northern pike on ice.

A family affair.
Setting up.jpg

A family affair.

These fellows didn't walk to their spot. They rode their ATV with all of their accoutrements in the back.  Notice the heater in front of them.
Two High Tech Fishermen.jpg

These fellows didn't walk to their spot. They rode their ATV with all of their accoutrements in the back. Notice the heater in front of them.

The owners of this equipment didn't have an ice house. They sit on their bait buckets while they fish.
Two Low tech set ups.jpg

The owners of this equipment didn't have an ice house. They sit on their bait buckets while they fish.

They can sit like this for hours in the cold.
Waiting for a bite.jpg

They can sit like this for hours in the cold.

This is how an ice house is erected.  This one is blowing in the wind.  The temperature was 14 deg F.
Blowing in the wind.jpg

This is how an ice house is erected. This one is blowing in the wind. The temperature was 14 deg F.

Drilling from a distance.jpg
Drilling from a distance.jpg