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Mike M February 28th, 2007 03:02 PM

Winter Getaway
Here are a few pictures from my wonderful, long weekend on Lake Winnebigosh, in Northern Minnesota. We caught over 150 fish on the first day but less than 1/3 that amount on the next two days. A large storm front moved in and over a foot of snow came in over the next 48 hours and the fish quit biting and our ability to move around was greatly inhibited. A good GPS and a four wheel drive vehicle were required to get around the lake. Even though we didn't limit out, it was still a great weekend and I can't wait until next year. Here are some pictures. For those of you that can only handle pictures of Caribbean sunsets you may not want to look. LOL LOL

Huge Lake: The ice was between 24" and 30" thick but little snow until the day after we got there.

Inside of my portable Ice House:

My Brother Folding up portable Ice House after an "unproductive" day. He's giving me his best pout face. LOL

Buddy: With two of his fish: Four of these make a great meal.

My portable ice house: Little House on the Lake.

Our Little Ice Village

It was a great time :!: :!:

Take care,

Donna February 28th, 2007 03:15 PM

Welcome back Mike,
Sorry the weather wasn't the greatest, but glad you still were able to enjoy yourself.

I did notice that those pics (color wise) look fantastic, was that a digital camera and if so, what kind? Also the clairity is amazing!

Trip February 28th, 2007 03:20 PM

So glad you had a good time! I would need at least a 2 bed/2 bath:)

Mike M February 28th, 2007 03:36 PM


Originally Posted by Donna
I did notice that those pics (color wise) look fantastic, was that a digital camera and if so, what kind? Also the clairity is amazing!

Donna: The pictures were taken with my "old" Sony DSC90 set at 2 Megapixel and in automatic mode. I bought it a little over year ago for about $140. I actually have an issue with that camera's autofocus.

My good Sony F717 is now broken; clutz boy dropped it too many times and the connection from the lens to the display no longer functions. I am debating having it repaired or just buy a new one. It will be over $300 to have it repaired. I can't fix it myself nor can anyone else without the parts. :cry:

Take care,

ready2gonow February 28th, 2007 03:45 PM

Mike, all I can say is Bbbrrrrr, bbbrrrr! I'm glad you had a good time. I'm with Trip, but I also want room service, fireplace, and a hot toddy!

Kuki February 28th, 2007 04:25 PM

In those pictures of the interior of the "hut", I'd like to know why neither chair has a hole in the middle? :wink:

CruisinK n J February 28th, 2007 06:36 PM

Winter Getaway
I'm with the ladies on this one! Thanks for posting the pics. Glad you had a good time.


mehawk February 28th, 2007 06:52 PM

Thanks for the pictures Mike. I couldn't help but to smile to myself though, when I saw the truck on the lake ice. I could only think of all the pictures I have seen where a vehicle crashed through the ice and became a submarine :shock: :D

Angela Z. February 28th, 2007 07:21 PM

Brrrr.......stupid question you sleep in those little things?
Angela Z.

Mike M February 28th, 2007 08:01 PM


The vast majority of the pictures you see of vehicles that go through the ice are those of people who venture onto ice long before, or after, the ice is no longer thick enough to support the weight of a vehicle.

There are also those who think that an ice ridge is safe to drive over. You must have at least 14" of solid ice to drive on a lake. It is common to see actual "roads" plowed on many lakes and many of them have "street signs" on them, so people can navigate. There are a number of avid ice fishers that build "ice mansions" that look more like top of the line motor homes rather than Ice Houses.

On most popular lakes the thin ice areas are marked. A good lake map, knowing the lake and a GPS are good tools to have on any lake but nothing beats common sense. I am still amazed when I do an idiot who fishes near or drives over an ice ridge, fish by a river inlet/outlet, or ventures out on big water without a cell phone, two way radio or a decent compass or GPS and the ability to use it.

Angela: In the portable ice houses: No. But as I said there are semi-portable ones that are decked out like motor homes and people spend weekends, or longer in them. I did take a couple of naps in mine and with the heater it was near 20 degrees outside and around 60 inside. Actually, it got too hot on many occasions and I had to open the windows.

Take care,

CruzNut February 28th, 2007 08:27 PM

150 fish - really! By the way, your brother looks like you except for the pouting face - more used to seeing your smiling one.

Doesn't look like you have a very big hole in the ice to fish in ... presume that's inside your little home away from home.

Glad you got away for a special weekend.

As to the camera - don't bother repairing it for $300, you can get a very good one for that or a bit more with more gizmos on it than your old one.


Angela Z. February 28th, 2007 09:19 PM

Thanks Mike, I still say Brrr......and I agree with Jane that your brother looks alot like you.
Angela Z.

UConn1 February 28th, 2007 10:40 PM

Looks way to cold for me....but then again, living in Orlando, 65 degrees is cold for me... LOL


Mean Dean March 1st, 2007 01:18 AM


Looks like you guys had a great time!

But I'm still not completely clear: do you guys actually spend the night and sleep in your portable huts, or do you sleep in the truck?

And if you're going to be spending several days out there, why not get a big hut for all of you to live in? -- seems a lot more sociable that way!


Mike M March 1st, 2007 02:06 AM


We were just out there during the day. Once the sun started to go down we were off the ice. We stayed at a resort on the the lake. We had a nice three bedroom, two bath house to enjoy ourselves in the evening. The resort also cleaned our fish, for a nominal fee. There was plenty of time for socializing after the fishing was done for the day and we took advantage of all of it. LOL

The smaller houses are used to stay mobile on the ice. Since you are fishing through an 8" or 10" hole in the ice you need to be able to move if the fish aren't biting. This is easy to do with a boat but not if you are in a large ice house. The portable houses fold up quickly, are lightweight, are very compact and we can move the whole bunch in less than ten minutes. The main purpose of being out there is to catch fish.

While we're out on the ice we don't spend all of our time in the ice houses, there is plenty of time spent outside. Three of the five houses were two man houses and we also do a lot of "house jumping" and socializing. We also cook on the ice, using propane stoves. We also use small "sunflower" type, propane heaters that keep things quite warm. I also have a large propane heater that keeps the shelter very warm. My house was nicknamed "the sauna." LOL Most of the time I used my small "sunflower" heater. It gets it's name because it looks like a sunflower when lit.

I have done overnight fishing in stationary houses and while it is a fun time with the guys you are also at the mercy of the fish. If the fish aren't there you are out of luck and you end up playing cards, drinking and coming home empty handed. While some folks like this, it isn't the main reason we go fishing. Coming home empty handed also happens when you are mobile but you have the option of moving to other spots where they may be fish and not be at the mercy of the elements.

Take care,

Mean Dean March 1st, 2007 02:37 AM

Thanks, Mike.

I guess I've got my ideas of ice fishing from the movie "Grumpy Old Men."


VTJen March 1st, 2007 08:58 AM

The first picture looked cold, but was beautiful, but it reminds me of, well, here. The lake lays at the bottom of my street, in fact I've never lived more than a couple of tenths of a mile from the lake in my town - three miles of it is in the United States, the other 30 are in Canada. Plenty of ice fising here.
Plenty of vehicles thru the ice every year. Like Mike said, people either rushing the season or procrastinate - ice house often go thru too. People here are quite foolish. Ive seen open water one day, then a light freeze over night and people on the "ice" the next morning.
You need to to where the currents run until you have plenty of cold nights because the ice is thin over those areas for a bit longer.

Plenty of people love it.
Glad you had fun Mike.

rollerdonna March 1st, 2007 09:42 AM

Thanks for the education about ice fishing Mike. Now the "southerners" understand a little more about how we "northerners" live! And why we love cruising to warm climates so much! LOL

Glad you had a great time, what a fun way to "bond" with your brother and buddy. (Your brother does look like you by the way!)

Also, glad you're back - I've missed you around here! :D


ready2gonow March 1st, 2007 10:47 AM


Originally Posted by Mean Dean
Thanks, Mike.

I guess I've got my ideas of ice fishing from the movie "Grumpy Old Men."


Me, too, Dean!

Thanks, Mike. I've always heard of ice fishing, but had no idea what it actually involved. Have you ever done any off-shore salt water fishing?

Mike M March 1st, 2007 02:04 PM


Originally Posted by Mean Dean
Thanks, Mike.

I guess I've got my ideas of ice fishing from the movie "Grumpy Old Men."

Dean: Grumpy Old Men did not give a very accurate representation of Minnesota ice fishing. In my almost 50 years, I have never heard of a fish or ice house called an "ice shanty". It may be a term used in other parts of the country but not around here. :-?


I have fished in Hawaii, Canada, Alaska, Mexico and in many parts of the U.S. I have a ten foot Pacific Blue Marlin on the wall in my family room. My wife would love to get rid of "The Fish" but it will go when I do. LOL

Take care,

ready2gonow March 1st, 2007 02:19 PM


Originally Posted by Mike M
... I have a ten foot Pacific Blue Marlin on the wall in my family room. My wife would love to get rid of "The Fish" but it will go when I do. LOL

Take care,

WoooHoooooo! Cool!

Tide Pride March 1st, 2007 05:53 PM

Hi Mike... Beautiful photos.
I, too, enjoy the camradery of fishing with the guys and have had some great times.
I felt better when you described that you did not spend the night out there, but returned to civilization.
I have got to tell you though as a southerner those pictures looked like my definition of " Hell of Earth "... Too cold !!!!!!
I have a buddy that lives in St Paul and he has described to me some very elaborate ice houses and even said some of the " Ladies of the Evening " frequent some spots.
Take care..


Angela Z. March 1st, 2007 09:10 PM

We recently got rid of our's a salmon that Hayley caught in Alaska and now that she has her own condo she has her fish! YAY!
Angela Z., who thinks taxidermists must be among the best paid workers in the world.

VTJen March 2nd, 2007 09:14 AM

They do use the term "ice shanty" around here. I think that term is the most widely used or "fishing shanty".

Mike M March 2nd, 2007 10:16 AM


Even though "Grumpy Old Men" was written by a native Minnesotan, there were some changes made to make it more common to the rest of the viewing audience. Some of the language and phrasing were the subjects of discussion as much as the portrayal of Minnesotans in "Fargo". LOL

You Betcha,

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