Fish House Review

We headed back out on the lake (Millpond) to check out the fish houses again..it was a short Sunday drive.

Mill pond Ice houses

We drove in the vehicle out on the ice..yes that is a normal practice this time of the winter in Minnesota.  Everyone does it..sure you could walk..but if you can ride well that is all the better and Chance can hang his head out the window.  There is a road of sorts ..an ice road.

The driver has to be on the lookout for sticks sticking out of the snow..where previous holes have been.  You wouldn’t want to drive into a hole…or hit a big ice chunk which is sometimes on top of the snow next to an old hole.

IMG_4799

A  angling fish house was here earlier this winter..you can see the four holes.  Fisherman sit inside their house near these holes and drop their bait down the hole..and hope to catch something..like a Walleye.  Angling in my opinion is boring.

Now take a dark house..one with no windows.  That is where the action is.  A large hole about 3 feet by 2 feet is cut through the ice.  Then you put on a decoy and sit next to the hole and move the decoy up and down and wait for a big hungry Northern to come it to snatch your bait..and then you spear him and drag him out of the water and throw him out on the ice to slowly die..and still be refrigerated..because it is cold outside and it is warm inside your fish house because you have a small stove of some kind ..wood or propane to keep you warm as toast whilst you wait for the next fish to attack your decoy.  Sometimes you drink coffee and eat cookies..or have your lunch. ( Some people have been known to drink alcoholic beverages most of the day and then spend all night in the bathtub because it was close to the toilet after skipping lunch and cookies with coffee…it was not me..I do not like Blackberry Brandy.)

Anyways I have fished in dark houses since I was little..we used to go with Dad during the winter.  Far Guy went with his Dad to the dark house too.  We in turn took our girls when they were small..small kids get a rope around their waist..so you can fish them back out if they fall in. No they never fell in, but if they had we could have pulled them out.  Some parents tie their small kids to the chairs.

Fish houses have changed over the years.

Here is a typical one.

Tar Paper  fish house

This is a dark house or spearing house..it is called a dark house..because it is dark inside except for the hole..the sunlight filters through the snow and ice, you can see the bottom of the lake and weeds and fish as they swim around. It is much like a lit up TV screen!

This is a angling house. Small holes like in the second photo..where you watch your bobber go up and down when you get a bite.   Ho—hum.

Semi Sleeper

This one just happens to be made out of a semi sleeper.

This is a angling house.

Pickup Topper

Made from tin and a old pickup topper.

It is interesting to see all the different houses that are built and what is recycled.  It also brings up many memories of days whiled away in the fish house:)

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3 Responses to Fish House Review

  1. I went with my Dad too to a dark house where he speared. It was exciting and scary when he got a northern!!! His darkhouse was on Little Pelican between Big Pelican and Lida.

  2. Dale says:

    Good article and analogy. Dark House Spearing is a lot of fun. I have not been out as much as I would have liked too. Work, and weather, and I have different conception of when I can have fun. North Dakota spearing has been good.

  3. Jan - Alexandria says:

    This is so funny! I know it’s all true and typical of Minnesota, but when you put it on paper (into type) it sounds like it’s all made up to be funny! Second nature here to drive on the lakes and cut holes. Does get some in trouble though with falling through. We used to tie our nephew on a rope in the boat. Why didn’t we just go out and buy a lifevest? Who kows…rope was handy I guess! At least we could “fish” him out!