An unforgettable moment on ice

Ice-fishing. Ever since I tried it for the first time two years ago, the sport has remained my #1 favourite pastime of the winter season.
I’ve spent countless blocks of time in the fishing tackle aisle at local hardware stores—reading package specs of small bait hooks and trying out ice-fishing rod and reel sets that beg to be rescued from the store shelf and put to work on landing the big one.
I’ve watched YouTube videos on how to tie fishing knots and how to spool a spinning reel, and I’ve joined the ranks of ice-fishing websites.
I love the sport so much that I daydream about taking a day off middle of the week and sitting in an ice shack for the whole day; quiet and focused, and feeling like I’d won the lottery because it wasn’t yet the weekend.
The entire ice-fishing experience fills me up with such excitement that my heartbeat races the closer I get to my fishing destination. It’s the truth.
Driving on a frozen lake to get to where the fish are still fills me with wonder at the scientific process of how ice is made, across miles of a liquid sea of fresh water.
I’m 55 years old and I feel like a little kid—eyes big as saucers—when I see an ice auger drill that butter soft hole in the ice until the volcano of winter white shavings change to an icy blue snow cone mixed with the water that signals the break through.
Amazing.
And then there’s the refracted sunlight that bounces back through the ice-hole, decorating the auger rings and lighting up the minnow on my hook on its way down, down, down—glowing until the dark deep waters swallow it up.
I’ve read the ice-fishing advice that suggests the best thing about ice-fishing is that you don’t need a lot of equipment. It’s a simple pleasure.
And it’s a newborn fantastic experience every time when I see the bobber dip below the surface and get dragged down with a fish on—and the excitement of pulling up my line with my hands, in what always seems like a forever moment, and spotting the fish I hooked lit up in the light of the ice hole like a piece of gold as I pull it through.
I used to think that part was the best thing about ice-fishing. I was wrong.
The best part, the part I will never forget, happened this past Saturday when I looked out the window of the ice shack at my 10-year-old grandson, who was my fishing partner, on his inaugural ice-fishing adventure.
He’d been out there fishing a hole for quite some time on his own, deep in concentration. As he was reeling in his line, no fish on, just in the moment he was, he turned and looked back at me and smiled.
He was hooked.
Now that, folks, was a Kodak moment.

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