During this time of quarantine and social distancing, it's been more important than ever to spend time with loved ones if available. With my wife working from home, my being furloughed, and our toddler daughter home from daycare due to extreme precautions being taken by local daycares, planning some family time outside of the house has become a way to avoid the monotony and stir-craziness that has come with mostly self-isolating during the weekdays. The outdoors has afforded us a way to get outside and get some fresh air, see some Hills scenery, and still maintain social distancing.
On a recent warm and sunny Saturday, I planned a trip through Custer State Park after some lunch but planned on a little surprise for my girls. Melissa had an accident while ice skating when we first got married almost 15 years ago and hasn't wanted to go on ice since. My attempts to get her to come ice fishing for the last 10 years have mostly been in vain though I continue to persist.
Well, I suggested we look at Sylvan Lake on our trip which is our favorite lake to visit because of the scenery and trail around the lake. However, she didn't know that I had secretly packed my K-drill, Vexilar, and rod case into the car as I planned on bringing Aurora onto the ice for her first time on it.
After arriving at the lake and telling her that I had packed some gear, I walked them both down to the shore and, knowing that the ice was at least 2 feet thick, picked up Aurora and walked onto the ice. Melissa followed as I knew she would.
After some snowball throwing with Aurora and letting Melissa get used to being on the ice, I ran up and grabbed my gear from the car and rejoined them. I drilled a hole for them and showed them how to use the Vexilar. The screen held Aurora's attention for a bit before she decided to play around the snow. But both got to experience their first-time ice fishing and weather conditions couldn't have been much better for them to try it out.
We only stayed for about 20 minutes since we had other places to go to, but we did succeed in catching Aurora and Melissa's first iced fish. Aurora wasn't too impressed with the fish, but she, like her mom, is now on the board with a fish. I'm hopeful that next season, I will get them both out again......without a little trickery!