Students and teachers brave the cold to ice fish

Ice fishing can often give students the opportunity to catch big fish, like this Northern Pike.

Photo Courtesy of John Porisch

Ice fishing can often give students the opportunity to catch big fish, like this Northern Pike.

Truman Kinne, Staff Writer

Most people can’t stand the cold, especially when it’s for hours at a time. But many outdoorsmen love the challenge of adapting to seasonal conditions to continue one of their favorite activities: ice fishing. For these Minnesotans, ice fishing is a key factors that makes the winters bearable.

Ice fishing is more than something to help pass the time; it’s a sport that allows one to spend time with friends and family. Part of the reason why ice fishing creates such lasting memories is sheer proximity, as fishermen either cram into tiny ice houses, or brace the cold together in the shared hope of catching fish. “Ice fishing means spending full days out on the ice with your best friends/family. What I like about it is that you don’t need a boat to get where you want to go on the lake,” said Junior Cole Zeman.

Ice fishing also offers serenity.  With all the stress that comes from things like work or school, ice fishing is a perfect opportunity to decompress and enjoy time outside.  “Like hunting, I like the time away from noise, I like time with my family. I like the excitement of sitting in the presence of nature, with nothing going on, and all of a sudden catching a fish,” said science teacher John Porisch.

Some might be discouraged by the costs of the sport or being outside in freezing conditions. However, the basic gear isn’t too expensive and can sustain many seasons of cold weather.  “I’ve always taken on the cold weather. Since my kids took up the sport, I’ve bought a portable ice house; I think I’ve set it up twice in the past two years.  It’s a bucket full of the necessities, an auger [which cuts the hole in the ice to fish out of] and an old sled to pull it out there with,” said Mr. Porisch. 

Part of the worry of doing anything on ice is falling in, and while there may be some funny, or dangerous, stories about falling through the ice, it’s very safe for most of the season.“I once had a younger brother whose foot went through a hole in the ice.  My cousin had to drill a hole beside it, reach through it and pull the boot off because my brother couldn’t pull his foot out.  I don’t have any big-fish memories,” said Mr. Porisch.

While some may have no interest in waiting around for a fish to bite, ice fishing can be a great time and create some amazing memories, and––of course––to catch some great fish.