The New York Times explores the allure of Ice Spearing (from HDW) .
In a Dark Shack Luring Pike, Spear at Ready
By GREG BREINING
January 30, 2009
"USING a folding ice saw and a chisel, Mike Holmes had carved a precise rectangle — 3 feet by 6 feet — through the ice of Lake Mary, in the rural woodlands near Crystal Falls on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Then he dragged his windowless “darkhouse” over the hole to block the daylight.
Inside, something magical happened. Sunlight penetrating the frozen lake lit the hole with a hypnotic glow. It was seductive and beautiful, nature’s flat-screen TV, a mesmerizing window to life and death beneath the ice.
Mr. Holmes sat on a steel chair and peered into the hole, his face bathed in soft green light. He yanked a length of fishing line tethered to a fish decoy. Carved from cedar, it was 15 inches long and painted to resemble a whitefish. With each tug, the decoy swam up and forward, circling out of sight, far beneath the ice. Moments later it would reappear, fluttering in dying spirals until it came to rest at the end of the line. There it hovered, looking just like a large, luminous baitfish. Propped next to the hole was a heavy spear, its seven steel tines ground to gleaming points.
Spearing is a primitive form of fishing. Hook-and-line anglers, guided by G.P.S., cruise to fishing holes in candy-flake-colored boats with 200-horsepower outboards, electronic fish finders, even underwater cameras. But technology hasn’t modified the equation of darkhouse spearing. “It hasn’t changed to this day,” Mr. Holmes said. “You have a spear, you have a decoy, you have a hut.” Spearing remains as it always has been, a game of deception and patience in which your attention can never waver. It is less fishing than hunting...."
And a cautionary video on the perils of ice fishing (from nephew Brian).
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