The Unintended Perils Of Ice Fishing (for Mahigeer and other cold angling mavens)

This story is covered by a variety of sources but I chose the one from FOX:

HUDSON, Ohio (WJW) – Hudson city officials are considering allowing ice fishing at city parks, but some are concerned.
A few councilmembers fear people could get injured and Mayor Craig Shubert is worried about prostitution. During a council work session Tuesday, the mayor said if city lawmakers allow ice fishing, someone may want an ice shanty.

“And if you then allow ice fishing with shanties, then that leads to another problem: prostitution,” the mayor said during the work session. “Just some data points to consider.”
The FOX 8 I-Team reached out to the mayor Wednesday asking for an interview. He declined to go on camera, but released the following statement:

“My comment about ice fishing, the permitting of shanties on lakes, and prostitution stems from my experience as a former television news reporter covering law enforcement agencies, which have made arrests for acts of prostitution in ice fishing shanties. When discussing proposed legislation, it is wise to discuss the potential for unintended consequences. My statement was to enlighten council that the future permitting of ice shanties may lead to other issues.”

He was the one who brought up the shanties. Pretty off the wall, even for an elected doofus. (Same guy, by the way who insisted that creative writing classes promoted pornography. We must have attended different schools!)

I would not speak for all ice fishermen, but I do have experience. Most of the time, when I fished in the subzero Midwest (Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota) we did not make use of a structure of any kind. Too much work--no umbrella tents back then--and time was limited due to the danger of exposure. We bundled up (helped a little), drank hot chocolate or coffee (which got cold really fast and then froze), kept moving after we augured the ice. We simply could not fish for more than a few hours. These were smallish lakes and you could not trust a drilled area too long. That last point becomes more crucial when you have structure: the heat, the thaw, the falling. No question about comfort. Sheltered from the elements and in close quarters with others, you can almost fish in just a sweater. I've been in mini cabins (shanties!) where someone built a fire. Cozy! If not for the fact that I was always anxious about collapse, even as a young boy. We caught fish, we shared a fellowship of generations, we "roughed" it.

And nearly died from second hand smoke. No kidding, everybody smoked back then--not the kids--and the structure was permeated with thick tobacco smoke. Sometimes with an undertone of maple sugar, if curing took place there. In truth, even more powerful was the smell of urine: these shelters were as bad as outhouses.

My point... With all that going on at once, the energy, the anticipation, the anxiousness, the reek of human waste--and the truth that many of the older men fished like this to avoid their wives--what do you suppose was the LAST thing on anyone's mind?

If you have read Mahigeer's posts on ice fishing--and you should--you will see that this extreme pursuit has evolved a great deal and is sensibly aware. But I still say it's about fishing and not fantasies.

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psst: I confess: I really did enjoy it. And even caught fish. They were sluggish and ranged from carp to bass to pike, but you know what it's like to succeed in stranger conditions (like your prowess in the Sierras). I know you would enjoy it.

A lot of people don't know that, for most of us in the Great Lakes area, fishing is shut down cold turkey (literally) for nearly one third of the year and we have to be content with fishing magazines or websites. But we rarely stayed indoors when I was a kid. Our parents would not allow it. So we sledded and skated and shoveled snow. And pretended we didn't like it years later.


Senior Member
Interesting post.

I decided not to go this year, due to unusual warm winter and late (possibly unsafe) ice.

As to other matter:

No wonder prostitution is considered the world’s oldest profession. If there is a way, it gets done.

Personally, I doubt any lady would want to get undressed in such a cold environment.

P.S. Why do we have spam in the thread?

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