This represents the rest of my images from last weeks Ice Fishing Derby. I happen to be passing by when this girl pulled a pickerel (fish) up through the ice. She was so proud. The temperatures have gone way up since Sunday, I have no idea how good the ice is now.
Last weekend was the annual Ice Fishing Derby in our little town. Actually, they had a three-day Winter Festival and the derby was part of it. It was the warmest derby that I have been to. It was nice not to freeze, but not many people drove their trucks out on the ice. As always, the people were friendly and having a good time.
First Night ice sculptures in Boston’s Copley Square
When I go out to take photos, I’m traveling light and just walk out. But if you have your food, fishing gear, fire wood and perhaps a beer or two then walking out is less than practical. Here are a collection of modes of transportation that people here use to get out to their bob house.
Life on the ice is pretty interesting. As you can see, there are many ways for people to decorate their bob houses, from signs to flags to lettering. And there is much to do, besides fishing. People have to chop wood for their woodstoves and do maintenance on their bob houses. The ice freezes around them, requiring them to chop them free with axes by the end of the season. Cooking is a big part of the day. It is like tailgating for a sporting event or concert. And there is traveling around on various vehicles…more on that another day.
Perhaps the greatest form of self-expression of the ice fisherman is his (or her) bob house, the little hut dragged or wheeled onto the ice in which they can keep their gear and kep warm until a flag goes up on he tippet. So many choices: size, type of material, how to stay warm, design, color. Some people spent Friday night in their bob house to be ready on Saturday morning. Here are a few of the images from the houses out there this weekend. BTW, all bob houses have to off the ice before March 31st to avoid a bobbing bob house.
Why call it a “bob house”? According to http://www.goodtoknownewengland.com/, there are various theories. To quote, “There are various theories: they could be named for the bobsleds that some used to bring their shacks out onto the ponds, or because “bob” is an old-fashioned term for short or small (as in bobtail or bobbed hair), or because your shanty will be bobbing in the water if you leave it out on a lake too long.”
Once again, it is time for our town’s annual ice fishing derby. Ice fishing is pretty simple, as illustrated above. There is the ice. The fish are under the ice and (if all goes well) the fishermen (and women) are on top of the ice. To get access to the fish, the fishermen must drill a hole in the ice using an auger. This brave soul went old school when his buddy’s power auger did not work. A rig, called a “tippet”, is place on top of the ice. It dangles the hook and bait and when the fish is on the line, a little flag goes up. This allows the person who is fishing to be nice and warm inside his or her bob house until they flag goes up. (More on bob houses tomorrow.) When the flag is up, the fisherman comes out and reels in the line. Sadly, this line just had an empty hook.
Many thanks to all of the people I met today who chatted with me and let me take a photo or two. This is my favorite shoot of the year because all of the people are so friendly. An extra thank you to those who had fire barrels going so I could warm up a bit. Cheers!
Heading north on Route 1A on the New Hampshire coast, just before Portsmouth, you come to Odiorne Point State Park. With a rocky coast and nature trails, it is ideal for exploring tidal pools and nature trails. On this day, there was ice in the tidal pools and the nature trails were full of people with snowshoes and cross country skis.
Despite a small-ish overnight snowfall, it was a glorious day with temps about 39F/4C. Driving around with my camera looking for places and people for photos, I found the ice rink and conservation land virtually empty. It turns out, everyone was on the lake. With all that sun and the snow reflecting the light, it was actually warm there. I saw one guy hand angering a whole for ice fishing wearing a t-shirt and jeans. Some people were riding their sleds (snowmobiles), or ice fishing or just soaking up the atmosphere. This family was heading out from the parking area.