(Originally published in the Merritt News - Othmar Vohringer The Outdoorsman)
© By Othmar Vohringer
When I moved from Europe to America and for the first time saw people huddled up in warm clothing sitting on a frozen lake fishing through a hole in the ice I thought “They are crazy.” Since then I’ve become one of those “crazy” people too. Not only do I like ice fishing, I look forward to it every year.
Fishing on a frozen lake has many advantages over fishing on an open lake. The biggest advantage is that no boat is needed, you can walk anywhere on the frozen lake. Ice fishing makes for a perfect family outing with small children since there are no worries about the little ones falling out of the boat or concerns about how many people can participate. The fishing will be easier too because in winter fish concentrate in small areas where there is more oxygen and more food available. The equipment needed is minimal. Basically all you need is an ice fishing rod with line and hook, bait and something to drill a hole into the ice. If you’re new to ice fishing visit the Nicola Valley Outdoors store or Ponderosa Sports in Merritt. The dedicated people in these stores will be happy to advise you on equipment and pass on a few tips on how to catch fish through the ice.
Last winter I ice-fished on a few lakes around Merritt and while I didn’t catch fish on every trip I enjoyed it anyway. This year is going to be even better because my wife, Heidi, wants to get more serious about ice fishing. She tried it a few years ago but now needs to be outfitted with her own ice fishing gear. It’s going to be great. I can picture it now: sitting together with a cup of steaming hot coffee or chicken soup in one hand and fishing rod in the other waiting for a fish to bite.
All this talk about ice fishing reminds me of a great and very popular event coming up. On Sunday, January 15th the Nicola Valley Fish & Game Club will hold their ice-fishing derby at Mamette Lake. This event has over the years become one of our regions most winter events, attracting anglers and their families from as far away as Vancouver Island. Having been involved in the ice fishing derby for a number of years I can promise that you will have a good time, and especially if you have children, there will be many prizes to win. For more information call Fran George at: (250) 378 2735
See you on the ice.