February's ABC Dating letter was the Fantastically Fun and Fabulous letter 'F'! We really wanted to go ice fishing for this date as it was something neither of us had experienced. Unfortunately with the way the winter has been going we were a little weary of going. So we planned on doing a family fondue night and letting the kids share in the fun dinner with us. (We did watch a film afterwards to have our date time without them). On, Saturday February 18th, this is what our dinner table looked like:
I had had fondue at both the Melting Pot as well as another non-chain fondue restaurant and for a girls night at our house. Brian and the kids had never had it. We made up some cheese fondue and had celery, cauliflower, broccoli, carrot sticks and bread cubes to dip in it. We also had a pot of hot oil to cook our chicken and beef in. It was a fun dinner for Angela and Connor because it was so hands on. Due to the heat it was very hands off for Emeric but I still think he enjoyed the food.
Dessert was chocolate fondue with strawberries, bananas, marshmallows and oreos to dip in it. Nothing like a filling rich dinner and dessert for a date night with the family!
Now fast forward about a week. We were told by our ice fishing friends, Kyle and Sarah, that the lakes were at about 5" of ice which is just fine for walking out onto them and for fishing. So on Sunday February 26th we got to experience a day of ice fishing.
We had these two sleds full of gear, a collapsible ice shanty and a cooler that we hauled out onto the ice.
Here is a view of a few ice shanties on the lake. Shortly after we arrived there were even more plus people just sitting on buckets over their holes. That seemed a little silly to me because it was quite windy that day.
Brian got to run the auger and drill some of our holes. We had some holes inside the shanty for "jigging" which is just fishing with a little pole and no casting, you just drop the line in and wait. We also had four holes outside with tip ups in those.
This was a fun picture to show the thickness of the ice. You can see the crack in the ice on the lower right side of the picture...We were told that since it was so cold that day that the ice was growing. We were frequently hearing (and even feeling) the pops and cracks of the ice as this was happening. It felt very weird!
This is a tip up that is set and ready to go. We had little, maybe 3", minnows attached to the lines. The theory is that when the bigger fish eats the minnow he will be hooked and that will cause the flag to tip up. We are then support to yell "tip up" really loud (as it makes the other fishers jealous) and then go get the fish. This did happen once for us, but unfortunately the bigger fish had only nibbled on the tail of our minnow so her never got hooked.
This is a view of the inside of our ice shanty. You can see the two openings in the floor as well as the on jigging pole. There is a propane space heater which was very nice for keeping us comfortable. I was able to have my gloves of the entire time and never felt cold. Sarah and I sure enjoyed the nice amenities! On the table above the heater is the camera monitor. That day the water was pretty murky so you couldn't see anything unless it was right next to the camera but we did get to see three fish. I could sit there and watch my pole bobbing up and down and see the fish swimming up to look at it and then wait. Then swim up again and wait. Darn fish were just teasing me. Unfortunately we did not catch anything.
But we sure did have fun trying! On a side note, when we got to the lake we noticed something sticking out of the ice. Brian and Kyle were pretty sure it was somebodies trailer. Before our day was done and we left the ice, the looked again and realized that the whole thing had fallen in. Yikes, how was the ice thick enough for us in one spot but not for something else there. It was explained to us that the trailer was much heavier than I so I would be just fine. After we got off the ice and we were loading the car up and man came over to use and said that there were about six people four-wheeling on the lake that morning when it broke through. I didn't understand if it was one four-wheeler and the trailer that went in or more but regardless, bummer. Fortunately, it seems like the people made it our just fine and so did we.