Friday, January 22, 2010
Bluegills and Iceholes!
Most of you who know me are aware that I love NASCAR. Over the last 15 years or so I have followed the sport quite closely, almost to the point of being a little over the top. Yes! I fly the flags from my front porch and I've got the pictures of my favorite driver (#24 Jeff Gordon) hanging from our garage walls. Hats! There are more than I could possibly wear in a weeks time and of course there are the clothes to go along with it. Sweatshirts, t-shirts, pajama pants, even the dog has to wear a little something, and so Scruffy sports his #24 collar all year long. I told you I was a little over the top. My friends and I have been to Chicagoland Speedway numerous times since it opened and I understand and feel the need for speed! The engineering and development that goes into a race car is fascinating to me. A little change here, or a design change over there, pushes the racing engine to the brink of destruction, while it operates at optimum speed and horsepower. I can't wait for speed weeks! Last weekend, my son Bryan, and my brothers Kevin and Keith were able to squeeze in a little ice fishing on Channel Lake, in Antioch, IL. Upon our arrival we noticed that the snowmobile racing club was out on the lake, making their runs across the frozen surface and pushing their speeds to the maximum. We gathered our gear and headed across the lake. If you have ever played the video game Frogger, you will now understand what happened next. For the next 15 minutes or so we dodged our way between the snow sleds to reach our destination on the lake. The club was using the middle of the lake, so we thought once we made it to the other side, we would be out of the way. I drilled a few holes and set up our shanty and we began to search for some Bluegills. The early morning fog had now cleared and the sun began to shine upon the lake. This would be a nice afternoon for keeping warm but what about the fishing? We fished from hole to hole and didn't even get a nibble. As we continued searching for the Bluegills we noticed that the snowmobile club had now moved closer to where we had set up. Only about 30 feet away from us now, the "ice holes" were making their runs from just beyond where we were, down the lake and back. It was quite loud and the racing fuel now filled the winter air. Clouds started to roll back in and the wind picked up and we hadn't even caught a fish yet. The entire middle of the lake was empty of fisherman but these "ice holes" had decided that they would move right next to us to start their runs. They were so close to us, that in order to line up for each race they started to circle our shanty, gear, tip-ups etc. One of them even circled my brother Kevin who was sitting, fishing over a hole on a five gallon bucket. To say the least we were very annoyed by these "ice holes". I started to think about how rude people can be, and how it doesn't matter if it is Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter, there will always be a bunch of "ice holes" on the Chain-o-lakes who do not think about anyone but themselves. We held our ground and did not give in to the "ice holes", although I am sure that they thought we would move, and give them more of the lake to race on. I'm all for sharing the lake, and the fisherman had given them the entire middle of the lake to have their fun. Why did they have to come right next to us? Oh yeah, because they are "ice holes". Kevin went to check on another rod that he had propped up next to a hole. One of the "ice holes" who had circled our shanty had run it over with his sled. It was completely destroyed. The four of us continued fishing, although we wanted to drill some "ice holes". It was late in the afternoon now and we did manage to catch a few Bluegills in the last hour and a half to help ease the pain of the broken rod and reel. The fish began to take our ice jigs tipped with a wax worm, but the bite remained quite light and it was now almost dark. I think we managed to catch 13 in all. We gathered our gear, some intact, some broken, and headed back to our car. As always we had a good time, with many laughs and memories that will be forever etched in the back of our minds. I just didn't know that when I had left that morning I'd be complaining about there being too many "ice holes"