Ice Fishing – Finding a greasy substance in the hole
The sun beat down on Storm Lake on Sunday, still covered in 10 inches of ice. Not far from the beach west of Lakeside, a group of four ate bean soup and told stories.
“This cornbread is made with rat bait,” said Scott Hines, the group’s cook, from central Illinois. A cast-iron skillet containing yellow cornbread had been sitting on ice, half of it gone.
Where it came from, they put a mixture of cornmeal and baking soda. “They can’t flatten,” he said of pets. “They swell and explode.”
These are the stories there is time to tell, while relaxing on the gym chairs, waiting for a snack in 41°C heat. Regarding the rat bait, Haines adds: “There is no poison in case anything else gets into it.”
All four men work for Fagan Inc., a company that is building a soybean crushing plant west of Storm Lake. They all work in different jobs, from electrical testing to controlling devices. They bonded at work and decided to try their luck on the ice on Sunday.
Veteran ice fishermen Jay Leonard and Darwin Cook, both from Montana, convinced the other two to come along. But Brandon Lovell of Oklahoma, who participated for the first time, took home the gold, reeling in a 10-pound, 30-inch catfish. A nice white bass was recorded by Leonard.
Leonard grew up in Maine, where he learned to fly fish. “You can’t believe all the pictures I took last year,” he said as he fished the shallow waters of Storm Lake. He cast again and again, caught some fish — not the trout and salmon he was accustomed to — and caught the attention of passersby with cell phones.
Leonard’s dubious distinction among the group was that he once broke through the ice – on a snowmobile. He and his teammates now wear retractable snow gear. The curly, telephone-like cord, tied behind the neck, is attached to a metal ice pick that can be grasped and used to pull oneself out of the water in an emergency.
“We were using screwdrivers,” Leonard said.
The foursome thought about ice fishing a few weeks ago when the temperature dropped below zero and the ice finally became firm.
They decided to stay home. “We were just trying to survive,” Haines said. They live in motels and mobile homes. They are used to being away from their families.
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Sonar is used to detect nearby fish. Times-Pilot photos by Dolores Cullen.
Cook returned home to Montana for Christmas and returned with a new luxury ice igloo that was tested on Sunday.
Lovell says he’s going to eat the big fish he caught. He says he’s brought home 50-60 pound catfish in Oklahoma. This is regular fishing, not ice fishing.
“It’s better when fried,” he explains. “I tried baking it once and it wasn’t good.”
Nick Snyder says a walleye and a perch were caught last weekend from the Lakeside area of Storm Lake last Sunday. It’s not unheard of to hunt near Frank Starr Park.
Snyder replaces Mike Keith as the go-to person for fishing rumors, since Keith sold his building at 201 W. Fifth St. and the accompanying bait business to Snyder last June.
Nick and Angie Snyder’s daughters, Eva and Esther, fill the bait machines. The name was changed from Big Belly Baits to Bait Shop.
Snyder recommends hunters tread with caution: “There are some soft spots out there.”