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Ice fishing with the wife

by: David Coulson 12/23/2012

Every married angler secretly wishes their spouse enjoyed fishing as much as they do, at least I did.  It’s truly a selfish wish that your partner in life is also your number one fishing partner, but the reality is it’s probably for the best that we have joint and separate interests.  It allows us to enjoy time both together and apart.

There were times, years back, when I tried to get Sue involved in fishing, and to her credit. she tried fishing with me on numerous occasions. One year, when we lived in Grand Junction, Colorado, I even managed to talk her into going ice fishing.  I suspect she capitulated just to shut me up.  Figuring she’d be able to formulate an excuse to keep from ever going again.  To that end she succeeded. 

With my father and nephew Mike, we made a leisurely trip to Crawford Reservoir, an outstanding perch fishery at the time, on a warm February morning which included a stop in Delta for breakfast.  By the time we made it to the Crawford boat ramp, a large group of anglers had already gathered. 

Sue togged up in several layers, including Carhart coveralls. The end result was she now looked a bit like an overstuffed teddy bear, and moved only slightly better than one. 

Those fishing weren’t having much success, prompting us to walk across the reservoir in search of more productive water.  A decision Sue protested.  Agreeing only after Mike, our young, strong nephew offered to pull her across on the sled.

We soon were drilling holes.  As Sue rigged her rod and asked, “What should I use?” handing her a box of ice jigs, I replied, “Try one of these.”  She selected a bright red ant jig, that I had thought about tossing away.  Rather than argue, I figured when it didn’t work, I’d offer her a “better” lure.

Soon, all but Sue, were catching perch.  I was about to offer her a new jig when she called out, “My reel isn’t working. It won’t reel in.”  “What’s wrong I asked?,” noting she was cranking furiously on a deeply bent rod.  As I approached I realized her drag was screaming loudly.

With some quick instruction I soon had her lifting the rod and reeling down and she started making progress on what was obviously a large fish.  I suspected a large brown. However, as I peered down the hole I saw it turn to silver briefly before the fish made another run. Not a brown, but what?  The fish needed to be guided up through the hole so as not to break the four pound test line we were using. So I pulled off my jacket, rolled up my sleeve, and stuck my arm down the hole.

I felt the fish hit my hand, and as I lifted my arm the fish’s head turned up and out popped a large channel catfish, 32 inches and a little over 13 pounds.  While I snapped a few pictures, one of which appeared in the local paper, Sue asked to hurry up so we could release it. However, Dad and Mike convinced her that fish would make a great dinner that evening. 

Now you’d think with that kind of success that Sue would be raring to go again.  Nope, she now had her excuse.  Every time I’ve asked her to go ice fishing with me since her response has been, “I will as soon as you catch a bigger fish through the ice then me.”  Needless to say, that was her first and only time ice fishing.

Published in the Coloradoan Dec 12/16/12.

Blog content © David Coulson
Member comments
FISHRANGLER, CO   12/23/2012 4:54:46 PM
Did you write this for me? Telling me to get off my ass and get that Dec Cat? LOL Good story no matter when it happend but, what year was this Dave?
moosegoose, CO   12/23/2012 8:40:23 PM
Nothing will ever get my wife out on the water. I even tried the old "Whatever you want to do on your birthday" excuse!
David Coulson (Flyrodn), CO   12/23/2012 9:50:42 PM
Needless to say I no longer try to get my wife to go fishing with me, although she often will sit and read while I fish occassionally, especially when we're travelling. This story dates me as it occurred in the late 80's.
JKaboom, CO   12/23/2012 10:10:20 PM
Cool story :)
fisherwendy, CO   12/24/2012 6:22:37 AM
Thats funny! In our marriage I am the one who wants to go fishing the most and the husband just shakes his head and asks, "Again?" He says he gets burnt out on fishing or open water fishing. I guess ours is the exception...
ObsessedFisherman, CO   12/24/2012 10:27:24 AM
Good stuff Dave great read and what a excuse not to go lol you would think that would be reason to go. My other half does not want anythning to do with it and that is ok with me
FishnWithLittleOnes, CO   12/25/2012 3:33:58 PM
Ahhh, I am actually the rare and illusive "wife" that fishes and I have a husband who does not. I feel your pain, and I have no one that understands the depth of mine. All my friends would rather stay indoors all winter and do warm activities with their children. I get all giddy when the temp drops and the lakes freeze! I can't understand why anyone wouldn't love to go fishing. I guess that's why I keep coming back to this site. Wish there were more crazy fisher women like me though.
David Coulson (Flyrodn), CO   12/26/2012 12:26:59 PM
I too wish there were more women out fishing. My daughter "lady-in-pink" is one of a few, although with her expecting in March, time on the water has been a bit limited. I think part of the issue has to do with upbringing. We introduced Jennifer to fishing early, and during her high school/college days she didn't fish much, but after that she's been actively fishing once again. It's great having her company on the water.
Ismiledonce, CO   12/26/2012 7:53:58 PM
I think this story is very telling. For those of us who have young ones, especially those with daughters, we need to be hyper-conscious of what we teach them. What do we teach them to value? If you question what your children value, time for a gut-check. If you ask your kids to go fishing or hunting with you and they look at you like you've grown a second head, time for a gut-check. Teach them early and often to love the outdoors and to appreciate our role in nature as stewards. We have a great opportunity. Failure at this life lesson is not an option. Can you look into your son's or daughter's face and say "I've failed you because I was too busy"? I hope not...
David Coulson
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