By Lenny Ackerman
Ice Fishing With Katie
Katie was sick with Covid for a month, quarantined with Greg in their cozy family home in Drew Plantation, Maine. After gaining some weight back as well as her appetite for fishing, Katie pronounced that she was about crazy from being cooped up and wanted to ice fish—her favorite sport after fall moose hunting. The stretch of East Grand Lake where Katie and Greg have their summer camp was not yet frozen over. They would go to the Cove on the lake instead—their sweet spot for ice fishing. In a secluded area north, off Route 1 in Danforth, the Cove provides easy access and 5 feet of ice.
The preparation for ice fishing began the day before. Greg assembled the deer blind tent for transport while Katie organized all the essentials: an ice drill, a “Mister Heater” portable unit that runs on propane, as well as rods and bait. Then, the provisions for the long hours out on the ice: a small, metal barrel with a grill attached to serve as a fire pit for hot dogs, plus water and beer. Finally, the attire: heat-lined camo snow jackets, long underwear, flannels, wool sweaters, hats, gloves with hand warmers, wool socks, foot warmers, and rubber boots.
The next morning, Greg and Katie left at daybreak–5:00AM– in below-freezing temperatures for their day of ice fishing. On the way, an unexpected snowstorm blew up. Typical Maine couple dream date. On arrival, Greg set up the tent with the heater then drilled through the ice so Katie could jig the fishing line to her heart’s delight. After being Covid sick for a month, Katie was now happy and energized by the outdoors. Then Katie started catching. A 17” salmon for starters followed by a 13” salmon, then a 13” trout before lunch. Lunch was Greg’s special “red hots” cooked over the coals in the fire pit. The only mishap was when Greg dropped his dog in the snow, which he rinsed off in the fishing hole. Katie said it was the best ice-fishing holiday she has had in years. A true Maine vacation day… and the best antidote to a bout of Maine Covid.