Ice Fishing 34
My husband Mike left yesterday morning on his 34th annual ice fishing trip with his high school fishing buddies. That’s right, 34th. The guys have been taking this annual jaunt to the same couple of lakes in North Central PA for that many years; they started ice fishing together when we were still in high school. It’s astonishing how fast the time has flown.
The guys start out the same way every year. It’s like December 1 and the phone rings. It’s “Scoutmaster” Doug, the fishing ringleader and the best man from our wedding.
“Mike? Mike, it’s Doug,” he always starts. “Do you know how thick the ice is at the lake?”
Mike, always smiling, replies, “No, Doug. How thick is the ice?”
Mike never knows, but Doug does. A number of years ago Doug created some sort of ice algorithm (or something scientific, after all he’s a PhD. and nuclear physicist) that’s based on temperature, snowfall, and goodness knows what else that helps him predict with great accuracy how thick the ice is, even living many hours away from the lake. If Doug reads this he’s sure to weigh in on what I’ve described since I’m sure it isn’t accurate, but I want you to get the big picture about how serious he is.
That first phone call from Doug signals that ice fishing <fill in the number> planning is officially under way. Doug gets the guys all lathered up about the upcoming trip. He tantalizes them with descriptions of the thickness of the ice. He waxes eloquent about precipitation and temperatures. He whips the guys into what I call “ice fishing ecstasy.” They love it.
When it comes to the annual trip planning the guys are amazing in their attention to detail. Scoutmaster Doug and his loyal fishermen have better plans and maneuvers than the U.S. Army. . .and they communicate more frequently too. The phone and email messages start flying back and forth. Who is bringing beer? Who has the tip-ups and auger from the previous trip? Who is in charge of the food? Beer? Who has to sleep with the snorer (just kidding)? It goes without saying that the Scoutmaster is in charge of arranging for the cabin.
This year I reminded Mike he has a built in camera in his phone and it would be nice if I got a photo or two of him and the guys. Well, he sent me two photos. I’m looking forward to receiving more. The two photos above were taken by the Scoutmaster in 2008!