Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Ice Fishing the Polar Vortex

Today I took a personal day off work.  The intention was to go out ice fishing all day with Pondboy to celebrate his birthday. The weather made us both decide to call off our usual 5 AM start time in favor of not fishing in negative temperatures.

2 PM:  I finished the tasks I needed to accomplish.  What to do....oh, I know you guessed it already.  I got suited up to Ice Fish the Polar Vortex
  • Good quality wool socks
    • chemical warming pack one in each sock
  • Long underwear
  • Undershirt
  • Fleece-lined jeans
  • Long sleeved quilted Henley
  • Columbia Winter Coat
  • Clam Ice Armor ice suit
  • Gore-Tex boots
  • Kahtoola Micro Spikes
Here's a tip.  Open a chemical warming pack when you are unloading your car.  Put one warmer in each glove.  This way you can put the glove on so the warmer is on the back of your hand. This keeps your fingers as warm as they can be in the frigid temperatures.  It has the side benefit of surprising you with warm gloves when you put them back on after time spent fishing in your shelter.

I unloaded quickly since Pondboy had beaten me to the spot and had already called me once with a list of reasons we shouldn't fish, number one being the cold to come.  I don't have the years of experience on the ice that Pondboy does.  He has forgotten more about fishing than I may ever know, that's what makes him a great guide.  What he doesn't have is the little voice in my head that works out solutions to the problems presented by the weather.  

The strong winds blew all the snow off the ice?  Make snow with my 8" ION Auger to pack the shelters in and keep the elements out.  

The temperatures are supposed to drop!  I have a Buddy-Heater that works on small propane tanks.  I'm set up to fish comfortably in most any condition.

Fish may not bite, it's too cold.

They may not bite.........but I'm glad they did!

Happy Birthday Dan!  I'm glad I got you out to fish with me.  I'm sorry I didn't listen to you and leave when it was only -5 out.  I waited until dark and it was -9 when I hauled my gear to my car.  I got it all to the car but ran to the door and cranked the heat.  ANY exposed skin was unhappy about having been out in the cold!

I got less frigid, packed up my gear, and headed home. My feet never got warm the whole way home.  I think my boots were still cold the next morning but I had fun.

I don't know about you, but I know I can say that I Ice Fished the Polar Vortex of 1/27/2014.