You want me to What?

    I love the outdoors. I think we are supposed to love the world God created for us. We are not supposed to love the world created by people and their problems. Politics, marketing (some of it), cultural differences are all things we are supposed to NOT love but fishing, camping, hiking, even star gazing are all on the list of approved activities for Christians. I don’t always know what Jesus is leading me to, but I have learned to trust His plan.

   I am always on the lookout for new things I haven't tried outdoors. New ways to fish are the things I look for most of all and recently I came across one that I didn’t know people really did. Ice Fishing. 

Snow

    Winter. Snow. Cold. White. There are a lot of things that look like a lot of fun in the snow. I haven't seen much yet but I’m planning on changing that soon. White Christmases, sledding, skiing, snow angels, and my favorite: fireplace, couch, tv, blanket, significant other, when Jesus finds a way to bring us together. I have hope and a lot of plans.

     I didn’t grow up with things like that. I grew up in an awful amount of heat and humidity that is called the Gulf Coast. When I say grew up, I mean it was the place my faith was tested the most and grew stronger and not just because of some of the people. It’s HOT for most of the year. I can’t stand it. I’m fair complected, blue eyed, and dark blonde hair, I am not made for the tropics. We all have a place in this world, and I believe mine is in the cooler temps.

    I pretty much did the opposite of hibernating for the winter: I hid from the heat in the summer. March, April, May is decent but after that I’m not going out unless it was to get into the car, crank up the AC and get wherever I was going and quickly go inside to more AC. Basically when it’s too hot to fish it's too hot.

    The same logic applies to cold.

But it’s cold

    When it gets cold and everything freezes my mind starts to go to things like sledding, and snowball fights. Ice skating looks like something I will try. I am almost certain I will get many, many bruises trying to learn how. Ice does not look very forgiving if you fall on it. Snow looks forgiving but ice. I’m prepared to cross that bridge when I come to it.

    Snow looks FUN! It brings out the kid in people of all ages. It also makes everything look clean and white and new. Like a new coat of paint on an old building. The whole city gets a paint job. 

   Fishing is not something I would think about doing in the snow. I have seen people fishing while the snow is falling on them. I have even seen one very determined fly fisherman standing on a little ice by the bank and casting into a river to catch trout.

    It does not look like fun to me. Everything else about snow does. Then I found out people fish on ice. They cut holes in the ice and drop down a line and try to catch fish. ICE FISHING

  "You want to go fishing today?"

   "Sure, where do you want to go?"

    "Down to the lake?"

    "The one that’s frozen?"

    "Yeah, we can go ice fishing."

    "Fishing for ice?"

    "WHAT?"

    “No, we fish under the ice.”

    “Who is we?”

    “You and me.”

    “Do you know how cold it is on that lake?

    “That’s why there's ice.”

    “How about we do something else that doesn’t involve sitting still on a frozen lake, or we can just make a fire and sit still in front of it. INSIDE”

   “So that’s a NO?”

“To fishing”

    “Maybeeeee?”

   “I thank you for the offer, but it’s COLD. I'll have you a warm place to come to when you get done if you go.”

 That’s how I imagine the conversation going if I am ever asked to go ice fishing.

  

written by Benjamin Evans

I thought this whole thing was actually a myth. I didn’t think people really did this. I was wrong. I researched it. It is happening all over the North. People are cutting holes in frozen lakes and rivers and fishing. 

   I like camping in the winter but that involves a fire, a tent, a warm snuggly bed and foot heaters. I won’t even do that if it gets too cold. A person has to have limits and I do not have a problem saying NO.

    But being the inquisitive person I am, and always looking for new ways to fish, I researched this. A lot.

   There are people who go out and cut a hole in the ice and stand over it and fish. They have on more layers of clothes than I think I own. I can’t imagine how truly cold that must be or how they move, or reel in a fish.

    They seem to be fine with it though. I guess it is something you have to get used to. If that is possible. 

   Then there are people who have these tent-like things they put up and fish from inside. A nice little shelter and some even had heaters in them. This is closer to something I would do. Wind can suck the heat right out of you. Wind over ice is even worse. At least the wind won’t bother you and you can have a little heater. This I might try.

 Then the coup d'état. The ice shanty. Little houses that slide out onto the ice when it freezes and slide back on shore before it melts. They have walls, floors, heaters, and windows. It’s a little house where the floor comes up in a spot so you can cut a hole in the ice and fish. I would do this. Put up a solar panel and add a tv and I could definitely stay there a bit.

   The one thing I didn’t find out is how long you have to wait to catch anything. The times were vague or random at best. If you catch anything at all. Seems to be a lot of trial and error even more than regular fishing. 

    The thing that really struck my mind was that the Inuit people did this as a way of survival, these people do it for fun. Everything else about snow looks fun to me. I’m still not sold on ICE Fishing being FUN.

  I know that we are supposed to enjoy the world that God made for us but I think He wants us to be smart about it. So this is my plan for Ice Fishing:

  • Get all the gear ready
  • Pack everything up
  • Check the temperature
  • Make a cappuccino
  • Get a blanket
  • Snuggle on the couch 
  • Watch Ice Fishing on TV
  • Keep watching till it looks like fun
  • Then go try it
  • Run back to the warm cozy house as needed

 I’m sure the day will come when I can say I enjoy ice fishing. I am just not there yet. I might be a couple of winters away from this endeavor. I have nothing but respect and admiration for the people who do enjoy this. I look forward to being one of you, one day. I am just not there, YET. 

    Jesus hasn’t put it on my heart to make ice fishing part of my life, but He did put it on my heart to look into it. Only He knows what tomorrow holds and I have learned to trust Him. It might not be what I want to do at first but usually His plans for me get me to place I would have never imagined being. It’s not always easy, in fact it hasn’t been easy yet, but He does have a plan. Ice fishing might be part of that plan for me, time will tell. Till then.

Live by Faith. Love the Outdoors. Life is Out HERE!