March 7, 2020

"I suspect what prevents people from trying ice fishing, besides its reputation for being unpleasant, boring and dangerous, is not realizing..."

"... that guides exist. A guided trip — like a nature tour mixed with a deep-sea fishing charter, minus the seasickness — helps anglers safely visit spots and does away with the guesswork and hassle of gear and bait," writes Steve Macone in "Ice Fishing Is Fun!/No, really. A trip with a New Hampshire guide reveals how much the sport has evolved, while keeping the eternal battle of angler and fish at its heart" (NYT).
And today we’ll be fishing with Clay Groves, a licensed New Hampshire fishing guide, obsessive fisherman — he once went on a quest to catch and eat all 48 legal species in the state, and host of “Fish Nerds,” a podcast that brings together — “codifies?” — people interested in fish, fishing and eating fish, covering everything from biology to cooking. A former science teacher, Mr. Groves hosts like a cross between Click & Clack of “Car Talk” and Bill Nye the Science Guy....

47 comments:

rhhardin said...

I just had a tuna sandwich.

mccullough said...

A “licensed fishing guide”? So much for Live Free or Die. The Boston Yuppies ruined New Hampshire

traditionalguy said...

Sitting out shivering on a frozen lake all day? The Deadliest Catch's King Crab boats still sounds more exciting to me.

Wince said...

And today we’ll be fishing with Clay Groves, a licensed New Hampshire fishing guide, obsessive fisherman — he once went on a quest to catch and eat all 48 legal species in the state, and host of “Fish Nerds,” a podcast that brings together — “codifies?” — people interested in fish, fishing and eating fish, covering everything from biology to cooking.

Sounds fishy to me.

Is that 48 fresh water species, or does that include salt water species along NH's short coastline?

rehajm said...

I suspect what prevents people from trying ice fishing, besides its reputation for being unpleasant, boring and dangerous...

Way to sell it...

BUMBLE BEE said...

My friends do it mostly for the contemplation aspect. They are equipped for the event. Would one run a mile or two barefoot? No. Golf without their woods? Doubtful. Maybe these yutzes can have their peeps bait their hooks for them. Fifteen dollars an hour doesn't seem a fair wage for these "Baiters". Clueless authors. How about covering ice boating next?

Marc said...

The language is sufficiently debased as it is: no need to suggest a new meaning for the word 'codify', Mr Fish Nerd.

tommyesq said...

A "licensed" fishing guide?

A friend just became a licensed guide in Maine - mostly it deals with first aid and orienteering, as the guide may be the sole safety line for the client. He said it was pretty rigorous training and testing.

chickelit said...

Fishing is ichthy.

BarrySanders20 said...

"Sitting out shivering on a frozen lake all day?"

That doesn't happen in the shanty. A well appointed ice shanty is a portable man-cave far away from the troubles of modern life. Beers stay naturally cold and a generator supplies power for heat and electricity for TV. Some of them are just like Althouse's tiny homes, just portable and out on the frozen lake.

gilbar said...

our driftless zone trout streams are spring fed, and thus, remain ice free all winter
so, i trout fish year round (unlike Wisc, iowa has no closed season)
I wear long underwear, and waders and coats; like you'd wear if you were going sledding.

Two years ago, my friend Ben invited me ice fishing, for his birthday (Jan 20)
I dressed as i always do for winter fishing and walked across the ice to where he was
he was inside a tent, and as soon as i got inside i realized that i was going to be VERY uncomfortable.
Inside the tent, there were chairs (not buckets), and a MOTHERFUCKINGGODDAMN HEATER
It was like 80 degrees in there. They had to keep their beers outside, or they'd get too warm to drink

Gilbert Pinfold said...

A jerk with a line waiting for a jerk at the other end...

tim in vermont said...

I like ice fishing, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anybody who didn’t already want to try it. It’s a pretty social kind of fishing. Ice fishing alone is kind of weird. Grumpy Old Men gets it right.

I also wouldn’t recommend going out on a lake you don’t know with conditions you don’t know without a guide, or at least follow the crowd. But I think the “licensed” part is the state worshipping side of the writer. You don’t need a guide if you have actual friends who do it.

tim in vermont said...

"and a MOTHERFUCKINGGODDAMN HEATER It was like 80 degrees in there.”

Yeah, that’s one way it’s done. Ideally you have some venison stew in the pot to go with the beers, which are an integral part of it. As Jeff Foxworthy once said “If you’ve ever been too drunk to fish.... you might be a redneck."

tim in vermont said...

On a March day, when the ice is still solid, but the sun is getting warm, it can feel like going to the beach.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I like to fish. Something I can physically still do as opposed to deer hunting. Large mouth bass is my favorite. Stripped bass and sturgeon from the Sac river or delta. Salmon in the Klamath River is great. Trout is alright to fish for, but it almost all catch and release and fly fishing only in some places. (at which I suck) I don't see much point because fishing is to catch fish and eat them...not torture them and put them back in the water. (sorry Gilbar...just my opinion)

Haven't had much opportunity to ocean fish lately, but I would love to go with my brother in law sometime. Go out for tuna, snapper or halibut. He catches tons. We have lots of his home canned tuna, coho salmon and frozen halibut in our pump house and freezer. SOOOO much better...canned in oil.

Ice fishing besides being, as the title says unpleasant,boring and dangerous....it is also freaking cold. Unless you are sitting in a claustrophobic hut with a heater and a lot of booze you are not going to have a good time.

The point of fishing...and hunting....is to get outdoors. Enjoy the scenery, the breezes. Stuck in a closet to try to stay warm is not for me.

Francisco D said...

Some of my Wisconsin relatives used to ice fish. It seemed to be an excuse for drinking beer and getting away from the house in Winter.

I forgot the brandy chaser. It is Wisconsin, after all.

Bob Boyd said...

Hold the maggots in your lower lip so they don't freeze.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The point of fishing...and hunting....is to get outdoors. Enjoy the scenery, the breezes. Stuck in a closet to try to stay warm is not for me.

I mean. One of the points. The others are to improve your skill. Best the challenge. Win. And bring home tasty things to cook and eat.

rehajm said...

I don't see much point because fishing is to catch fish and eat them...not torture them and put them back in the water.

I like to make trout late for things, as Mitch Hedberg would say.

Where were you?

I got caught!

I do not believe you. Let me see the inside fo your lip!

tim in vermont said...

"Stuck in a closet to try to stay warm is not for me.”

The ideal way to do it is to set the tip ups out in front of your house and watch them with binoculars and when a flag goes up, send out a kid on a snowmobile to fetch the fish.

Not really, but if you fish for food only, like I do, which is why when we get into bass, we move, then ice fishing for perch is a nice way to go. If the temps are moderate, it’s open air fishing, jigging for the perch, which is a little bit of a skill, and you can lay in a couple three dozen of them for a fish fry in pretty short order. The shanties are for the hard core, who are out there no matter what the weather, and drinking is a big part of it, as is getting away from wifey, I suspect. Down the lake a bit there is a guy who drags a Grumpy Old Men type shanty out with his tractor. It has a little satellite dish attached to the eaves, to watch hockey or curling, I guess.

There are a lot of kinds of ice fishing and there are lots of kinds of winter weather. People ice fish around here for Atlantic salmon, whitefish, lake trout (why?), brown trout, walleye. Usually it takes over 9 lbs on a walleye to win the local tournament. Like I said, if you are interested, you shouldn’t let the negative nancies put you off.

tim in vermont said...

"Hold the maggots in your lower lip so they don't freeze.”

That is what is known in writing as an authentic detail.

tim in vermont said...

Another major target fish is northern pike. Aside from perch, that seems to be the one people go after the most for some reason. I don’t get it. It’s fun to catch one by accident once in a while, but you get back to the fish torture thing again.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Aunty Trump

I went ice fishing, tent shed on the lake a loooong time ago when we were visiting with relatives who live in Michigan. I was impressed with the lake ice and how sturdy it was. There were even cars racing at one point on the lake.

Not many opportunities for Midwest style ice/lake fishing in this area. So no danger of me having to try it again :-)

We have ocean Perch here. Those are fun to catch at the surf edge.

Bob Boyd said...

You know she really loves you if she'll kiss you while you're ice fishing.

gilbar said...

Aunty Trump said...
On a March day, when the ice is still solid, but the sun is getting warm, it can feel like going to the beach.


years and years ago, i went ice fishing on a little lake, up by St Croix Falls
It was late march, and it was like 50 degrees out, and a blazing sun (ice was still about 2' deep)
It was fairly glorious. There were about 20 people, in a little outdoor village on the ice; all sitting on our buckets, pulling out fish, with our jackets open and wearing sunglasses
The 3 of us in our little group caught about 120 bluegills; in 2 hours

That sort of ice fishing is pretty nice.... Staying inside next to heater... not so much

gilbar said...

they were delicious
If you catch a bluegill, do the other bluegills a favor, and eat it

David53 said...

Ice fishing in Alaska, hand augering through 3 feet of ice in sub 0 degree temperatures, those were the days. Pull the fish up and gut it quick, it will be flash frozen in about 10 minutes.

tim in vermont said...

New York Times recycling articles:

In spite of the vast size of Lake Winnipesaukee, the bob houses, which are hauled out onto the ice every year at the beginning of the season on Jan. 1, always reappear in clusters at certain points, with only a very rare but sitting out there completely, by itself. This is because of ,a certain gregariousness even among the self‐sufficient fishermen, and also for reasons of safety —an accident to a person alone out there in a below‐zero gale could kill him. But mainly the spots are chosen because the fish traditionally bite there.

https://www.nytimes.com/1974/01/13/archives/the-glorious-misery-of-fishing-through-a-hole-in-the-ice.html


I love that fish have traditions.

tim in vermont said...

"f you catch a bluegill, do the other bluegills a favor, and eat it”

I never eat them, and move on when I start catching them, because they are too hard to clean. You can do a perch in under a minute, gutted and skinned, but not so much a bluegill. However... I see that they have come out with a device for scaling panfish that is like a rock tumbler. You throw in the fish, while running a hose through it, and it tumbles them and removes all the scales. This could be a game changer.

gilbar said...

TU (trout unlimited) has COMPLETELY sided with the green new eel Environmentalist wackos

They don't seem to realize, that tormenting Trouts is Completely undefendable from a 'green' perspective

Lee Wulff famously said... "A Trout is too valuable to be caught only once"
BUT, if you're not there to kill them; what are you doing?
Won't be long, before PETA declares catch and release fishing to be barbarism

Personally, i was hired by Mayflies Unlimited, to put some fear into those murderous Trouts.
A mayfly Never hurt anything, but Trouts don't care.... I DO

gilbar said...

. I see that they have come out with a device for scaling panfish that is like a rock tumbler. You throw in the fish, while running a hose through it, and it tumbles them and removes all the scales. This could be a game changer.

a Bass-o-matic works great on all types of panfish!

Kirk Parker said...

DBQ,

I'm intrigued by the concept that deer hunting is beyond your physical reach, but you could still ocean fish in a small boat?

tim in vermont said...

"A mayfly Never hurt anything, but Trouts don't care.... I DO”

I never caught a fish that wasn’t in the act of trying to kill something else.

Francisco D said...

I never eat them, and move on when I start catching them, because they are too hard to clean.

I had an uncle in Wisconsin who caught tons of blue gills and did a cursory job of cleaning them before putting on a light coating and deep frying them. He sent a big package to me in Chicago and I ate them cold from the refrigerator, picking around the bones. Delicious.

He was a professional butcher and a hobbyist cook.

RK said...

It's not boring if you drink.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Kirk Parker said...DBQ, I'm intrigued by the concept that deer hunting is beyond your physical reach, but you could still ocean fish in a small boat?

Deer hunting ,where we used to hunt, requires a lot of distance walking: through lava beds, up and down steep terrain. High desert terrain. Then there is the field dressing (gross!!) and packing the deer back to camp. (mule deer which weigh generally 140 to 180 lbs). The average shooting distance is about 100- 200 yards. You needed to be accurate so I opted not to chance just wounding the deer at the much longer ranges of 300 to 350 yards (I wasn't that good of a shot then and out of practice now).... and then you get to go find your deer and hope he didn't run too far before expiring. Field dressing and packing especially is a two or even three person job. At my age. Not so easy. Walking and hiking ok. Packing meat out not so much.

Short and long of it...too much work at my age. I'll buy a steak instead and brave the wilds of Costco's meat department. I would still go deer hunting (hiking really) and shoot them with my camera instead :-D

BIL's boat is an ocean going fishing boat. I think 26 ft. Not a small dingy or Klamath drift boat size. You can easily take 4 people on it. If I had a really big fish, there is always someone to help out and spell you with the reeling in. We haven't gone out with him in a couple of years.

Bilwick said...

Life in a statist society is also tends to be "unpleasant, boring and dangerous"--although it gets less boring when the Democide commences--but that never seems to dissuade so many people from voting Democrat.

... said...

Some years ago I read a short blurb in the London Daily Telegraph about an 8 lb brown trout at the royal aquarium that jumped out of its tank and landed in a tank full of piranhas. in the time that it took a worker to scoop it back out, it had eaten 3 of the unlucky piranhas...

tommyesq said...

I remember setting tip ups on a large pond in New Hampshire and then playing shinny (pond hockey) while waiting for a bite. Good times indeed, something kids these days dont do.

Kirk Parker said...

DBQ,

Ah, ok. Nobody uses atv's for game retrieval? My BIL had one of these that he made great use of:

https://www.rokon.com/bikes/rokon-hunters

Also, we totally disagree on the meaning of "small" when talking about ocean size swells! the point isn't the absolute size of the vessel, it's about how steep an angle if you're going up and down even three foot waves...

Michael Gillespie said...

What prevents me from trying ice fishing is the "fishing" part.

Darrell said...

I confess I only whale because of my harpoon cannon.

Mary E. Glynn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Assistant Village Idiot said...

I am very familiar with Winnipesaukee. Sections of it attract knuckleheads, while others are just decent places to go out among the elements and play with gear. Playing with gear is important.

MikeR said...

tl;dr Unpleasant, boring, and dangerous is good enough for me.

BUMBLE BEE said...

My wife has family on Lake Simcoe in Ontario. Watched an outdoors video where folks take buckets of yellow perch when ice fishing. Ice fishing porn... http://timhalesfishhuts.com/