Posted: Tuesday, January 24, 2006

On Thursday the 20th of January 2006 I drove several of my sons classmates to Sport Lake where they had an ice fishing, and skating field trip. January 20th is also the birthday celebration for some guy who was born in the lower 48 clear back in 1955. This guy grew up fishing and hunting at an early age in the upper Midwest. Any ideas? Gee thanks fellow readers...it was I John Perkovich! Ok so we don’t have a John Perkovich day! Anyway back to the story for this week!

I drove my son and several of his classmates from the Terri Carter class to the lake where Fish & Game had the holes all drilled and poles and shrimp all ready to go for each class of kids as they came by. They pretty well spent all day there as group after group of kids came by from several different schools to try ice fishing. Several people were making the rounds with ice dippers keeping the holes clean and helping bait the poles with shrimp.

Fishing proved to be rather slow that day but each class caught a few fish despite the temperature being only 7 degrees with a slight breeze. I saw a few nice rainbows caught by a small group of fishermen separate from the Fish & Game group.

In fact on our way from the Iverson to the fishing spot I stopped and fished with another parent in a couple empty holes thinking they were part of the Fish & Game group. Imagine having to explain to my son for having a black eye for stealing a group of fishermen’s holes. I never heard of combat fishing on the ice before. After a few minutes I approached the other fishermen and after discovering that they were not part of the school project apologized to them for my rude behavior. Thankfully they were all good-natured and we got a laugh out of my clumsy behavior.

I observed the variety of foot wear wore by the many different children on the ice that day and I must admit most were inadequate for spending a day on the ice in almost any temperature. I have been studying this problem for years and most boots today simply do not have enough insulation in them to keep small feet warm. Unless the kids were moving around constantly most had cold feet after a short time.

The only boot I have found that consistently keeps small feet warm all day is the old bunny boot. Often times you can get these boots off E-bay brand new for $20 or less in any size. I know because I have bought close to 30 pair of these boots there myself. I simply got tired of kids always having cold feet when we went fishing. I now have enough boots for all my children plus their friends as well as arctic gear for everyone too. Nothing more aggravating then to haul out all your fishing gear and get the holes drilled and all set up and before you even get started the kids have cold feet.

I watched this group of kids battle the cold weather, frozen fishing eyes on their poles but yet determined to catch a fish. It did not take a very big fish to get them excited in front of their fellow classmates. I always buy fresh shrimp in the grocery store and keep a few pieces in my mouth on these cold days to prevent them from freezing solid and hard to hook. I baited several poles that day and I know some of the kids were wondering why my shrimp was soft and warm not frozen like the stuff from bag laying on the ice.

I have to commend the Iverson family for opening their home like they did for about 30 kids that day. They were very hospitable people and not only did they have a place plowed off for the kids to ice skate on, they had hot chocolate, hot dogs, bun, chips, cookies, beans and burgers for everyone! Just having a warm place for these kids and yes us adults to warm up in was great let alone everything else they did.

Taking kids in the outdoors is a great experience for them and I know most of them never forget these type trips. Many would never have an experience like this if some people other then their parents took them. I can still remember some of those early childhood trips I was invited along on some 40 years ago. Wow! Maybe that really wasn’t my birthday we celebrated the other day, I can’t be that old already! After you reach a certain year do elderly people start subtracting a candle each year? After 50 candles do you need a burning permit? Seems weird to be able to warm your home with your birthday cake!

See you next yearI mean next week!

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