Friday 22 January 2010  
 
  Ice Fishing.  
     
 
I am standing inside an ice fishing shanty situated atop Lake Cadillac in Cadillac, Michigan. 

Because of warm weather many lakes I'd normally work aren't frozen and the lakes that are frozen are often hazardous because the ice is too thin to walk on.  A couple of bait shop proprietors have warned me with regards to driving vehicles, snowmobiles or ATVs on the ice.  I have heard through other fisherman that two men drowned last weekend (one chap fell through thin ice and another went through the ice while driving a recreational vehicle).

I'm fishing the west end of the lake.

Lake Cadillac is the home to perch, crappie and bluegills, but I'm not much interested in panfish I'm hoping to pull in a couple of northern pike.  I'm using sucker minnows for bait (and a tip-up) and additionally I've got my spear (and decoy) nearby.       

Additionally, I've brought along a portable rechargeable clothes iron, an extra spool of monofilament fishing line and some inflatable fish that I made myself using thin sheets of 40 ml rubber purchased from Home Depot.

Making inflatable fish is easy.  Simply draw the pattern of a fish (I made northern pike) onto a sheet of thin, flexible rubber and then cut it out using sharp scissors.  Use the one dimensional fish you just cut out of the 40 ml rubber sheet as a template and trace its outline onto another sheet of 40 ml rubber and then using your scissors carefully cut along your lines and cut that fish out, too.  When all the tracing and cutting is done you'll have two one dimensional rubber cutouts of something (hopefully) resembling a fish.  Apply rubber cement along the perimeter  of each fish cutout and then slowly press each section onto the other section making sure they are properly aligned with one another.  Leave a small opening anywhere along the perimeter of the two married rubber sections.  Insert a plastic drinking straw into this small opening and then when the rubber cement has nearly set (except for the space occupying the straw) blow into the drinking straw expanding the fish and while the fish is expanded pull out the drinking straw and immediately press down on the area once occupying the drinking straw (you want the rubber cement you applied earlier to permanently seal this opening otherwise the air will leak out).    

Paint your completed rubber fish using a flexible waterproof paint.  Northern pike are olive green in appearance so I painted mine olive green. 

The rubber fish are thin and flexible and easily fit into any travel bag (along with the battery powered iron and spool of monofilament fishing line). 

But I digress.

My plan is simple:

While inside the fishing shanty I will use the battery powered iron to melt the ice below my feet and when the top coating of the ice is melted it will become glasslike and transparent.  When the ice is glasslike and transparent I will hang my homemade inflated pike from the roof of the shanty using the monofilament line.    

Of course, I will vary the lengths of each line.

Yes.

Six handcrafted inflated northern pike a length of monofilament line attached to each one.  Six rubber pike hanging from the ceiling of the shanty. 

To be me!

But again, I digress.

I owe you an explanation:

ONE:  The ice floor inside the shanty is glasslike and transparent (We used the portable iron to achieve this task).

TWO:  Pike enjoy swimming along the bottom of lakes and it's well documented that they're one of the few fish that actually look up (due to the design of their eyeballs) while they're swimming.

THREE:  When the pike swim beneath the ice floor of my shanty (made glasslike and transparent by the portable iron), they'll most certainly gaze upward and when gazing upward they'll see the fake rubber pike hanging from the ceiling of the shanty!

FOUR:  While the pike are circling and gazing upward looking through the glasslike floor of the shanty envious of the small jolly gathering of their fake rubber pike friends (hanging from the shanty ceiling) I'LL FUCKIN' SPEAR THEM!

I'm fishing on the west end of Lake Cadillac in Cadillac, Michigan.

I've rented a fishing shanty.

I have heard through other fisherman that two men drowned near here last weekend (one chap fell through thin ice and another went through the ice while driving a recreational vehicle).


NOTE:  Don't overinflate your homemade rubber fish.  Real fish are wary of fat fish and when they gaze upward (from the lake bottom) looking through the glasslike and transparent ice floor of your shanty they'll be spooked by an oddity they rarely see (an overweight fish).

EXTRA:  Make sure your battery operated iron is fully charged.



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