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Deitz Dittrich

4th Get To Gator, a Reflection By Deitz Dittrich.

37 posts in this topic

The morning sun peeked through the trees as though embarrassed by its behavior the prior week, hesitant to clear the trees until it knew the world’s inhabitants did not hold a grudge. Meanwhile, a flock (or maybe a covey?) of anxious would-be spear anglers met at a not-so-secret location, one agreed upon by the lot of them within the spearing forum of FishingMinnesota.com. Stories of recent trips fell gleefully from their lips into a plume of mist from their mouths. The 18 degree temperature was just the beginning, above freezing temps were on the docket, and this group of merry men and one woman, planned to take full advantage of the sun’s rays...

I was a tag along on this outing as I had never speared before in my life. Yet, as an angler, I was interested to see how or even why it was done. In a parade less grand than those of Holidazzle, but equally as exciting, we drove to the far side of the lake from the access from which we had met. Instantly, I realized that this was a group of avid anglers - only die-hards recognize the best fishing is always as far as possible from where you currently are.

I rolled out of my vehicle, bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to take on a new challenge. I asked my mentor Jason Schade (Bass-N-Spear, in his second life on the web) how I could help; his reply was to just watch as we made our hole. Clearly he must have mistaken me for someone else (someone who was good at watching); out of habit, I grabbed my auger and immediately started punching holes all over the place. Jason, on the other hand, carefully measured a group of five holes in the shape of a rectangle with a hole in the middle, and then grabbed something out of his truck that looked as though it had been stolen from a medieval warrior. He began to connect the dots with his contraption of ice destruction, bisecting the ice into four smaller chunks. He didn’t get far through the first cut before I had wrestled the beast from his hands. I needed to be a part of this. I was told that I was holding an Ice Saw (By Fish’s Sporting Toys), and that I only needed to use it like I were sawing wood. It made easy work creating the hole, and we were scooped shavings out with a shovel in no time. I enjoyed cutting so much, that I soon went in search of another hole that needed to be cut. Jason shook his head and watched me trudge off in the distance, my new friend in hand, in search of more ice.

I came upon a couple of spearers who possessed a bit more experience than me at the sport, but not by much. I did know, however, that they were in good hands as those who continued to arrive seemed to know what they were doing and were willing to share their knowledge. I, on the other hand, just wanted to cut ice. The Spearkies (a word I just made up- a combination of Spearing and Rookies) were mid-way through drilling their set of holes with an auger that either didn’t have blades or had ones that were in dire need of being changed. Wielding my new friend, I offered my now “expert assistance.” I managed to connect a few of the dots in the ice before my guilt set in and prompted me to offer it to one of the Spearkies to give it a hand. It was on about the seventh or eighth cut when “It” happened. The ice saw, weapon of ice death, had decided it no longer wished to fulfill what it was made to do. On stroke number nine, it dropped to the bottom of the lake. All eyes were on the hands that had held the dagger, hands that now held nothing.

With a gasp of disbelief and a tear in my eye, I slowly trudged back to Jason who now had the heater going and the house set up over our perfectly manicured hole. I crawled in the fish house, asked if he had seen anything yet, and then asked him if he “remembered that one really cool ice saw he HAD?” He didn’t think my joke was all that funny; it became even less funny when I informed him that it wasn’t a joke. Ever the good sport, he took it well.

We spent the better part of the morning staring down at a sucker minnow strapped below a decoy shaped like a small northern painted red and white through what looked to be a 60” plasma television. With ADD running through my blood veins, I dropped a OutdoorProStore Jig, tipped with a couple of Eurolarvae into the depths and informed Mr.Schade that I was going to catch his decoy. While his mouth said “good luck,” his eyes told another story. I managed a dozen or so small panfish, but somehow the sucker minnow wanted nothing to do with my offering--even though I was busting out my “A” stuff.

Lunch, to a bunch of spear anglers, I have decided, is nothing short of a twenty-course meal. From bear hotdogs, to brownies to die for, to home-made pickles which made my mouth want to die of spiciness, to pickled northern that brought me back from the [PoorWordUsage] the pickles had put me in, I was full, and happy to be on the ice with a group of guys.....and one gal.

The morning yielded one pike to the spear gods, yet the catch of the day went to one of the Spearkies. With help of a large treble, five tie-down straps, and a truck-load of patience, my good friend, Mr. Ice Saw, was brought back from the depths of the lake to saw again at a later date. As the hot dogs were about done, a triumphant spearkie emerged from his fish house with hand held high, a pose reminiscent of the warrior from whom Jason had stolen the weapon. The ice-saw lived to see another day!

We returned to our shelters for the afternoon bite, and Jason and I decided to pass on a smaller Northern thereby allowing it to harass the sucker with whom I was still upset for not taking any offering I had put in front of his face throughout the day.

By days end, one fish was all that was harvested, but I understood it was much more than that. A group, a brotherhood, had gathered to share something they loved, and it didn’t really matter the harvest level. The owner of the Ice Saws (Fish’s Sporting Toys) had donated a saw to the event, and a drawing was held. Someone who already owned a saw won an additional one and proceeded to instantly grab it, and the one he already owned, and proceeded to pay it forward, a nice touch of sportsmanship: while keeping his new one, he passed on an experienced saw to someone who didn’t have the luxury of owning such a great tool.

I left the lake today, feeling like I have wasted quite a few years by not understanding an angling method. Ultimately, it was really not the angling method I misunderstood; I had underestimated the depth of camaraderie that existed amongst its enthusiasts. Undoubtedly, I hope, deep in my heart, that I am able to make many more of these gatherings in the future.

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Awesome stuff dude!

Im glad that you were able to come and hang out with me. It was a great time with you bud, and we will do it again!

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are you sure dietz isnt a writer for some newspaper? laughwink seriously though great summary of the day. god reading. dietz thanks for sharin the day, oh yea and the sprinkler dance. eekcrazylaugh

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Wow DD, great story! I laughed my tail off many times!

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Very nice story! I guess the old timers are going to have to qualify what determines a "spearkie" and at what point you become a spearer. I like the term!

The pickles were awesome!!!! Perfect heat-I need to get that recipe!! Might be good with green beans.

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Great story, Dietz.

Hopefully you can make it to another get-together when the fishing is better. It's really fun and exciting when you see those pike in action. Plus lunch is always good.

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Deitz that was the most perfect account of a great day as seen thru your eyes. thanks so much for being apart of it and hope to see you in the future at other events. and you said you cant write

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Deitz, I think he is hooked. I would love to see the look on his face when a 38" would slid slowly into the hole. PRICELESS wink

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great story, After reading it I shut my eyes and Bang I was right there in the middle of it all from the chair at work. Thanks DD

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i wrote myself a note, i will bring the recipe to work mon and post it here. only thing with that recipe is you need thai chili peppers dried. i do have a bunch i can share. a freind gets them for me at garden markets in the cities and dries them for me. NOTE; this same reciepe can be used for pearl onions.

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thanks glenn I hope to make some of them tastey pickels and try it in my next batch of pickeled pike

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BNS right now I am out but will soon be making as batch I can save you a jar.

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BNS right now I am out but will soon be making as batch I can save you a jar.

Better make that 2 for him smile he is a good eater!!! grincoollaugh

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