Pike, "First Ice", Camping & Good 'Ole Boys.

Ben, baiting a "tip-up". / A nice sized Pike hauled in by Tony.

A few weeks ago I spent 4 nights in the wilds of North Central Wisconsin.  My friend Ben had invited me on an ice-fishing trip to catch Northern Pike at his family cabin.  I was told it would be an event "not to miss". 

In addition to learning some ice-fishing technique, I was also taking advantage of the woodsy setting to test some gear for GearJunkie.com.  For instance, when everyone decided it was time for bed, they crawled into bunks and slept in a fire-warmed cabin while I cozied up on my camping mattress inside a -20 degree sleeping bag.  They thought I'd lost my mind, but it was actually a great night's sleep on a beautiful little island surrounded by ice.

"Philly", staying warm.  /  Staring down the barrel of a Northern Pike.

Out on the ice we hauled in anywhere from 10-20 fish a day for 4 days.  The island served for our gathering place during the daylight hours.  A fire was kept going all day for warming and cooking duties.  Between bites we killed time by throwing knives, whittling sticks, poking fun of each other and many other guy-like things. 

There was rib-jabbing for the guy who caught the smaller one. / The "Fish Boil"--sounded gross, tasted great!

It was fun to hang out with a bunch of Wisconsin natives--most wearing at least one Carhart item and some sort of fur-lined hat.  It was good to eat wild game and fish in the middle of nowhere.  The whole thing felt right and I'd now also describe "First Ice" (as they call it) an event "not to miss".