We’ve had some bitterly cold days in New Hampshire this winter and hundreds of New Hampshire ice fishermen have been taking full advantage across the state. Ice on the Squamscott River in Exeter is nice and thick so we don’t have to drive very far to find bobhouses or a small shanty village on the ice. It’s all right here in the center of our town. We can stay in our warm cars and watch from several different shorelines and capture the scene using a zoom camera.
This afternoon we joined other spectators waiting patiently for some human activity, while joining a number of seagulls on the ice waiting patiently for scraps of bait or pieces of fish.
We didn’t wait long before we saw a young couple gathering gear from their vehicle and venturing across the ice toward their shanty. They were happily greeted by a fellow ice fisherman emerging from a neighboring shanty.
Hole cleared, these ice anglers prepare their jigging rod with bait… perhaps baiting with flies or sea worms, bloodworms, or perhaps a bit of corn.
Ice fishing is so new to us and much of it still a mystery. It seems simple… cut a hole, drop a line with bait, and pull up your catch. But there are a lot of intricacies that we will never know. Clothing, equipment… rods, tackle, ice gear, bait, propane heaters, cookstove, battery radios, plus changing tides, weather, and knowing where the fish are running. These ice fishermen have the know-how and the yankee spirit we are lacking. It’s a spectator sport for us. We much prefer watching from the sidelines in a warm car… with camera!