New Hampshire Bobhouses

According to the NOAA, we have about 20″ of snow on the ground. The tally came after about 7 or 8″ of fresh snow yesterday. It’s snowing again now with an inch or two more expected tonight. We don’t go out in it much. We stand at the window and watch it fall in awe and disbelief.

A warmup is in the forecast. We’re jumping to 48 degrees on Friday. Where will all the melt end up? That’s a worry for all who have basements…us included.

After shoveling a pathway (not me but mister gardener!) to feed our our avian friends, we decided to drive down to the river and see how the bobhouses fared in the snowstorm.

pathway in the snowWe’re just learning about bobhouses. It’s certainly a huge New Hampshire tradition, perhaps a bigger thing on Lake Winnipesaukee than on our local rivers, but we do have a number of bobhouses where diehard ice fishermen have some protection from the elements.

In other states, I’ve heard the huts called by names like ice shanty, ice house, or ice shack but here they call these portable buildings ‘bobhouses’ and no one really knows why. Theories are that fish ‘bob’ on the line, that the houses ‘bob’ in the water if not removed before the ice is thin, but I like the theory that the verb ‘to bob’ means to cut short, such as in a hair style or in bobsled with short runners. And, indeed, these shanties are small structures, some bought, many handmade, painted, plywood, metal… very individualized and colorful.

I would think most bobhouses are pretty basic, however some bobhouses may have a woodstove for warmth, a camping potty or a generator and a t.v. We were hoping to see some activity on the ice today but our bobhouses looked vaccant after about 8 inches of snow last night.

Click photos to enlarge.

6 thoughts on “New Hampshire Bobhouses

    • I’m having a great time learning local traditions and expressions. In Virginia, I remember the look on newcomers’ faces when they learned the names watermen call Tidewater blue crabs: a Jimmy, Sally, Sponge or Sook.

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  1. Yes, and harvest only the jimmys, and cease winter dredging, and there will be a limitless supply of crab forever. Read that again.
    Look how deer, and turkey, have proliferated with the bucks only and toms only harvest.
    Hello….

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