|The FishWitch Journal -
Dec. 2001 (c) Mary Riley
Since ice fishing season is just around the corner, its time to trot out
the boys of winter. Those of you who follow this column will already be familiar with a
lot of them. Those of you new to this corner need some introduction.
As the season
progresses, we have some great times out there, and I know the stories will have a lot
more meaning if you get to know these characters. So stay with me while I perform the
introductions. Have you ever heard of criminal profiling? It's kind of the same..
Foxy---he heads up the list. He's about 73 years old and an expert
fisherman. He only stops jigging (the constant up-and-down method of working a spoon to
attract a bite) when heās fishing. Goes to sleep in his ice hut with his
lines down the hole. That way he can tell the MNR he is in attendance. His stories are
legend. He is a master of obfuscation and he confuses the issue pretty good too. If you
catch a really good fish its the one he missed earlier.
Johnny Kratz----Foxy's sidekick. An expert fisherman himself. Known to
stay sober and alert while working his lines. Keeps a sharp eye on Foxy's hut as it tends
to settle in pressure cracks, where the fishing is best due to increased oxygen levels.
Also keeps a small bottle of a certain fine whisky for when the temperature drops.
Keith---the one person who commands the respect of the entire group
for his knowledge of the lake, the changing ice conditions and how to get on the fish.
Taught a lot of the boys most of what they know. Known to have sledded out for miles in
blizzards to dig Foxy's car out of a snowdrift. Known to have dug Foxy himself out of a
snowdrift. Legendary along with his old black friend Sonny, whom he cheerfully would use
as a marker against miles of white snow, before the days of the GPS.
Silly Bones---sometimes called Cotton Picker due to his favourite
expression. Excellent at hut renovation. Can handle cooking a fish fry for about 50
people. Also good as a barometer and wind direction indicator when he sticks his hand up
in the air.
Stormin' Norman---can make a fish story last 3 hours. At 6'7"
tall, has a hard time remembering to duck, and years of smacking himself in the head when
going through doorways accounts somewhat for his personality. Is useful for barbecued
chicken dinners when the fishing is slow.
Paintball Pearce---an excellent fisherman when NASCAR isn't on TV.
Likes corners in fish huts. Has a very generous nature, will give new guys lots of tips
and advice. Does very well fishing but is "here for the beer".
Dozer---Paintball's wife. Endowed with a very nice bustline, which
someone told her years ago by saying "Dozer nice headlights". Can outfish the
boys any day, usually on lake trout. Fishes all day and then gets to go home with
Paintball. When stopped by a cop one night for going the wrong way on a one-way street,
was asked "Didn't you see the arrows?" Without missing a beat answered "No,
I didn't see the Indians either." The cop let her go.
Toolbox---Class A mechanic and fishing fanatic. Known to beat rivals
over the head with his fishing stick when outfished. Spends summers fishing pro and
tooling his buddies around in his boat.
Magoo---another fanatic who happens to have a boss who loves fishing,
so gets to call in sick a lot and still have a job.
FishWitch---most of the time the only girl out there with all of the
above. Fishes with them, listens to them, sorts out the truth from the lies and prints the
lies. They make better reading.
That about wraps them up. Most of my readers are in the Orillia area, but it is worth
your while to venture down to the south end of the lake this year. For those of you who
for whatever reason cannot icefish anymore, stick with me through the winter. I'll do my
best to make you feel like you're out there.
P.S. If you like, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org