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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
No, the first one is not a dance and the second one is not a vulgarity. In finance, contango occurs when a futures contract price is higher than the spot price. The two prices then converge as the time of the contract approaches. Backwardation is the opposite scenario. What does that have to do with fishing? My expectations of fishing trips and, indeed, my expectations in general can be described as a contango situation. My expectations are always too high, only to converge back to a less than ideal reality.

I had never gone on a multi-day ice fishing trip with my wife. I took up ice about half way into our marriage, the half where she was less interested in going fishing with me. I had high expectations for the trip. We were going to do it all, both family and fishing activities, and it was still going to be a memorable fishing trip! It did not quite turn out as good as planned, but my expectations did not quite crash down to reality. I might even venture to say that reality came up a little bit to meet my expectations.

The night of the trip, the kids opened their presents early. I am not sure which box he was opening but my son was fervently tearing and tossing the wrappings away:


December 24: we woke up at 3:30 AM and set out for our destination. A gas stop, a McDonald’s stop, a couple of wrong turns, and five hours later we arrived at the “Promised Lake.” I loaded two sleds full of gears and we walked down to the lake. The first set of anglers we met on the lake and did not appear to be very gregarious but I managed to get from them two pieces of information before I drilled my first holes: they were in 20 ft of water and they had only caught one fish. We walked about 40 yards past them and I set up the hut in 28 ft of water. I also set up a tip up closer to shore.

My wife and oldest daughter did not want to fish, so they just sat in the hut. They were cold, they said. “How could you be cold when there is a heater going in there,” I said. “Be quiet,” my wife replied. This is not going to be a good day, I thought… I had learned the days leading to the trip that my wife was not interested in fishing; she was just going along for the other activities.

Anyhow, the fishing started slow. My first lure was a 1/8 oz Buckshot tipped with shrimps. I saw small fish come to my lure but they would not bite. I downsized to a tungsten jig and caught a couple of small perch. Because the fishing was slow, I walked to the other neighbors (not the ones we first met). They were much more friendly! Finally, I had come across people who were not angry because they got up early to feel frigid air on their face. :D Maybe they had good reasons to be in a good mood: they had caught some nice perch in the 11-13” range. They invited me to fish with them. They offered me some of their old holes, but I refused. I told them: “I am religious about my holes; a man should never take another man’s hole.” :biggrin1:

I had some success at the new location:


My friendly neighbors left after catching their fill. The kids were using my sleds to sled down a little hill on the bank. I managed to get them to come fish for a little while. They caught a few each but lost interest quickly and went back to sledding. Even my oldest daughter joined them.

Toward the end of the day, my son screamed that he had a big fish on. He had noticed that the flag on the tip up was up and the spool was spinning. By the time I got to him, the fish was already almost at the hole. I landed it for him and took credit:



In a despicably selfish act, I did not take a picture of my son with the fish. After his initial excitement, he had already ran off to play anyway.

On the second day, my wife and kids did not want to go back to the lake. Not even my son. "It was boring." But I knew better: my two youngest ones had a lot of fun sledding and playing in the snow, but they would rather be with mom than dad…

I started with the tungsten jig but got tired of catching tiny perch. I decide to go big and switched to my rod with the Buckshot tied on. The average size of the perch went up after that. Size matters. They also liked it jigged more aggressively, with a pause between jigging activity (that's when they would bite). I left the lake around 2 PM. We had plans to watch a movie and eat dinner. We drove around town only to find out that all the restaurants were closed. In frustration, I said to my family: “there has to be at least one restaurant owner greedy enough to work on Christmas day.” There was: a Chinese restaurant. That’s my kind of people! :biggrin1: Alas, we had already eaten there the day before and my wife did not like the food. She said she’d rather go angry… So we ate hot dogs and nachos at the movie theater...

As we were driving back, I was thinking that this may be our last trip of this kind. However, in an unexpected turn of event, my wife asked me if we were still going to do the trip to the hot springs. I said: “yes, maybe during spring breaks. It will be warmer then. That will make the fishing and the hot springs more enjoyable.” For that trip, I will try to set my expectation to a backwardation mode; it is always better to expect less and get more.

Sink o' death:

 

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Nicely done sir, looks like you made the best of it. I was out there today, did pretty well. 2 mid 30" pike, a 26" tiger muskie, and mess of perch.
 

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Discussion Starter #4

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Nicely done sir, looks like you made the best of it. I was out there today, did pretty well. 2 mid 30" pike, a 26" tiger muskie, and mess of perch.
Very nice! I gave the pike/muskies a try each morning with some lipless cankbaits but did not stick with it. If I had another day or two, I would just focus on those toothy critters.
 

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Awesome trip in my book, memories that will last a lifetime.
 

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Nicely done AO...great times with the family!!!!!!!
 

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Great story, fish and post AO, brought back some memories of some early "train wreck" ice fishing weekends with my wife and daughters, which they still laugh about today even though it was 15 years ago. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Great story, fish and post AO, brought back some memories of some early "train wreck" ice fishing weekends with my wife and daughters, which they still laugh about today even though it was 15 years ago. Thanks.
I hope we can all laugh about some years down the road... :biggrin1: Thanks for the perspective!
 

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Walk out and catch perch, hang some meat near shore and catch pike.
 

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Slayer takes credit for global warming or says it doesnt exist depending on who he is talking to...
 

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Great post, family memories were made!!
Much better than having the kids sit in the other room playing video games at home. Like a lot of familys do.
 

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Sounds like you had a good time. Good on you.

I can't imagine convincing my wife to go sit on a frozen lake. Heck, I don't even want to do it. :)
 
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