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Ice-9

A story

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Gentlemen:

Below are the first several paragraphs of an ice-fishing short story I'm writing. I'm fairly new to ice fishing, so I'd like a little feedback, especially on the technicalities and particulars. I'm not sure how to, or even if I can, post an MS Word file here so if you'd like to read the remainder of the story (6800 words, 10 pages) e-mail me and I'll send it along.

thanks

Ice-9 (Dave)
[email protected]


Early Ice

Three full-sized pickups with ATV trailers nearly filled the small parking area by the access. The trucks were parked at proprietary angles, jammed arrogantly up into the snow, inconveniencing all but themselves. There were tire signs of half a dozen more vehicles come and gone, but Gary Teller was the only new arrival to curse the rude behavior, and to anticipate that it wasn’t over. Men who would park their trucks in this way, and drive four-wheelers on marginal, rink-slick first ice, would probably throw a wide wake of bad behavior. The lake wasn’t that big.
Gary’s main hope was that they would soon leave. Center Lake had a mediocre reputation for walleyes, even at first ice, and an even worse reputation for a night bite. Gary knew because the reputation was mainly his doing. Most people left after the crappies were done, by 8:30 or so. It was just rounding 9 PM.
Or nearly empty. Gary banged his calf on the corner of the nearest trailer as he unloaded his little sled. He cursed again and toyed briefly with the idea of bumping a hip against the newest of the trucks to trigger a car alarm—typical Minnesota passive-aggressive, the equivalent of a New Yorker screaming, “You got a problem wid dat?” into your teeth from five inches away. Unfortunately this wasn’t New York, and car alarms were not necessary. The only risk to an unlocked vehicle in Soileau County peaked in August: returning to find your unlocked vehicle filled with surplus cucumbers and zucchini.
It was a perfect fishing night. The air was about 18, the wind light from the south. Gary wore his medium woollies in case he had to walk off in the shift of weather predicted for the early morning. He planned to be long gone by then, but Gary was careful. It would likely be the last of the first ice; the front was bringing a cold snap that would make enough ice for permanents, snowmobiles, and later the trucks. It would probably be the last uncrowded night on Center Lake.
Because he was thorough, Gary took a few whacks with his spud bar on the way out to The Fingers, but he knew the ice was good walking depth—four or five hard, clean inches. It had waffled through early November, setting then breaking up, then had thawed out completely Thanksgiving with a week of warm sunny wind. But ten days of cold with a couple of ten-below nights had locked it up tight, and the winds had blown her clear. This was Gary’s third night on the lake.
There were faint marks from the passage of the other anglers, diverging paths that petered out to nothing but perfect smooth clear ice, like walking on air. Every pebble and leaf shone in his headlamp beam.
As he walked out he looked for the other anglers. The light was weird, a reddish compression that reflected between the low cloud cover and the black-smooth ice. It gave enough backlighting to see shapes if they were close. He saw nothing near the inshore breaks, but once he was a quarter mile out he got a bead on them. Indistinct at first, when they came between himself and the light he could see half a dozen or eight shapes nearly dead center in the lake. At least a couple of portable shelters and something else, probably the ATV’s that should still be on trailers. The location meant they were definitely not from around here. They’d set up on a set of deep rocky humps, but the Center Lake walleye population was weed oriented. An occasional 8 pounder came from the rocks but the weed edges were best.
Gary relaxed. They were too far out to do him any harm, and a bunch of out-of-town bohunks with 40-year-old DNR maps wouldn’t understand the significance of his approach to the lake. Their secret was safe.
They called themselves the Midnight Club. Enny Gardner had retired and moved to Texas the previous fall, so they were down to five; Dave Peltier hardly ever fished anymore, and good riddance since he was such an obnoxious SOB, so there were really only four men who knew the secret of Center Lake. Gary had discovered it six years before, and only really came to understand it in the past three ice seasons: Center Lake was a hot walleye fishery. Not just hot; it was terrific...

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Dave: I'm sure you will edit and re-edit your story, but I would like to suggest that you use some punctuation. It make the story more interesting. Maybe add some "quotes" etc. Keep it to paragraphs too. Hopefully you may get it published in a fishing journal or magazine some day, they are always looking for this type of material. Is it Fact or Fiction??? Good luck on your piece,,,,Kaz

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Huck Finn,

Please go back and read the rules of the forum that you agreed to when you registered. Personal attacks WILL NOT be tolerated.

[This message has been edited by Paul Waldowski (edited 01-03-2004).]

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Dave you make me angry... leavin us hangin like that! Be sure to post the rest of that story when you write it. That's truly awesome writing! Keep it up, and keep postin it... brian-

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to read the whole story e-mail me at [email protected]

To answer some off-line and some on-line questions:

1. The story is finished. This is just the opening. I didn't want to clutter up the forum with a 7000 word post. I'm emailing the full story as an ms word file to anybody who wants it (not so far to Huck, though). Send me a note at [email protected]

2. This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to anybody (or any lake) living or dead blah blah blah.

3. I missed the personal attack. Dang. I was hoping for criticism in any form. Send me an e-mail. Please feel free to get specific, though you'd probably have to read the whole story; in this bit the main character hasn't even started fishing yet.

4. I'm not a "newbie on the board crashing to get help." I usually post from another computer so I re-registered.

5. thanks for your help. Administrators, sorry if I caused you extra work that costs you fishing time.

Ice-9
Dave


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Thanks to all who read and responded. Several very good suggestions are up for the next revision. It'll go out for rejection...I mean publication in the next couple of weeks.

Ice-9
Dave

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • I think he's saying for the plow operator!!!  LOL!!!  yes it would help ya until ya wake up!!!
    • Agreed that will help calm my nerves when I see a big pile of snow pushed up in my yard, but I was looking to stop it from happening.
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    • I have used a Toro single stage for about 10 years now. I was very skeptical until I helped a friend with snow removal. I won't ever go back to a 2 stage. Mine is a 2 stroke but I've seen the 4 stroke Toros in action and they seem just as good. There have been a couple times of heavy snow fall where I had to do the driveway in the middle of a storm and again at the end and also times of breaking up the plow ridge at the end but the pros far outweigh the cons. I like that it folds up like a lawnmower. When I get the mower out in the spring the blower goes under the shelf. No more big bulky blower in the way all the time and the rubber paddles clean right down to the cement. It's light enough to throw in the pickup and if you lift on the handles it'll propel itself if the snow isn't super deep. Go for the single. You won't regret it. 
    • The best snow thrower I’ve used is the one that uses your arms and a shovel😂 No blower or plow for me I can have the driveway done in the same amount of time if not a hair faster than a blower and, we’ve got a pretty decent sized driveway to, We get a good pile at the end from the grader that plows the township roads. I have wanted to mount a plow on one of the wheelers to plow the road as our township is extremely cheap and there must be Minimum 3-4 inches to plow. Anyway single stages are better for smaller drive ways and less snow. Personally I’d never by a single stage as you get a decent snow load and it may get frustrating or that pile at the end from the plow. But being you have a 2 stage as well it shouldn’t be an issue. Finding a good heavy duty rig with a good engine is key. Toro makes a good blower as well as huqvarna IMO. Im not sure if  huqvarna evenmakes smaller blower though.
    • I wouldn't get the Honda 4-Cycle Single Stage.  We have one at work and they are gutless wonders.  We also have the Toro 2 cycle single stage and that has a lot more balls!  IMO.  😉
    • A good bottle of bourbon or case of beer might make a difference.....
    • Great feedback.  I guess I will go with the single stage.  Just wish I had a solution for keeping the plow driver from pushing our entire culdesac's snow onto my lawn.
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