Ice Fishing

by Dave Mance III | January 14th 2010

Ice fishing on Newfound Lake
Photo courtesy of Wayne D. King

We were on the ice by 6:30, loaded for bear with tip-ups, axes, augers, bait fish, cooking implements and the likes, the three of us heading out across a virgin snowpack on a lake that seemed to spread out forever. Crunch, crunch, crunch our footsteps echoed off the hardwood shoreline. A day camp was struck on the south side of a small peninsula, sheltered from a light but steady northerly breeze. Somebody set to work on a fire and a coffee pot while the others turned their full attention to the ice.

The auger hadn’t run since last February and it took a few good sprays of ether to get the varnish pulsing through the carburetor. Then, the deep gargling sound of the engine. In a minute or so 18 inches of ice was ground to a perfect circle. (While I hate to sully an otherwise serene scene by describing the buzz of an internal combustion engine, I’ve got to report that the sound of a power auger is that of divine progress and angels singing to someone who spent their formative years hacking hundreds of holes through bunker-thick ice with a spud bar). More

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