Spearing for Northern
One thing I have missed since we moved up to the Gunflint Trail fourteen years ago is spear fishing for Northern Pike. There isn’t anything like sitting in a toasty warm dark house, peering into the water with a spear between your legs and seeing a Northern come out of nowhere to attack your decoy.
When we lived in the St. Cloud area we would spend many afternoons in the dark house. Sometimes we would fish on the river and sometimes on a lake; it didn’t matter where we were. When you cut a rectangle in the ice and sit in a dark house you can get a clear view of everything below. Sometimes the bottom would be weedy, sandy or rocky. You could watch fish swim below and come into your hole to check out the sucker minnow. I’ve heard stories of dogs falling in the hole of one dark house only to pop up in the next one. While this never happened to me, I did have a muskrat pop in to say hello one time. I’m not sure who was more startled, the dog, the muskrat or me!
The fun of spear fishing can’t be compared with other types of winter fishing. That is why I am so excited we have a dark house again! It’s a portable ice fishing house we purchased last year but never had the chance to spear out of. Mike already got it out onto the ice this year and even speared a Northern out of it. I can’t wait to find the time to try my luck again. Even if I don’t spear a Northern I know I will be content to sit in the dark house, stare into the water, listen to the ice talk and contemplate life.
You can check out new regulations about spearfishing on the DNR Website.
Thanks for the photos Steve Ramberg!