Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sturgeon Spearing-What Are the Chances?

I am participating in Six Word Saturday, hosted by Cate at Show My Face.

By sturgeon standards, this is a little fish. It measured only 42 inches long, weighed in at 38 pounds and is estimated to be about 20 years old. It was speared Monday, on Lake Winnebago in eastern Wisconsin. Opening day, a Lake Winnebago record-setting sturgeon was speared. It weighed 212 pounds and was estimated to be 100 years old!

Yeah, speared. How do they do that, you ask?

Well, a rectangular hole is cut in the ice, which is about 24 inches thick, with a chain saw. The hole measures about 3 feet by 5 feet, or about the size of your front door. The fisherman sits by the hole, inside his shanty, and gazes down into the water. When a fish swims by, he spears it with his long-handled, barb-tined sturgeon spear.

What? You just sit there and wait for a fish to swim by? You have to be kidding!

Apparently not. I talked to one fisherman who has been doing this 20 years and has never seen a fish swim past his hole!

Ya think? I mean, what are the chances?

Lake Winnebago has a surface area of 137,000 acres. The hole is 15 square feet. You do the math. And don't forget to allow for looking away just long enough to change the radio station, open a beer, have a snack, pet your dog, open a beer, look outside, take a nap...

You would have better luck looking up a chimney and waiting for a duck to fly by!

And still, the lake is full of holes, shantys and fishermen. And the cap for the season, which this year looks to be only about five days long, is about 1800 fish. So it's not impossible.

I'm a glass (lake) is half-empty kind of person. I mean, if I hadn't even seen a fish through my hole in 20 years, I'd be looking for a new hobby!


Susie said...

Yeah...the whole ice fishing passion missed me. But those who love it:-)

faerwillow said...

~patience is a virtue...wonderful little story...brightest blessings~

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

Sturgeon must grow VERY slowly...

My Six Words

Hootin' Anni said...

No....I don't have a chance. First, it's too darned cold there for me. LOL the the pet post below too.

6 Word Saturday

Jenn@ You know... that blog? said...

Wow... you have to wonder about the mental state of someone who could/would continue to sit there for 2 decades and never have a single sighting!

Seems kind of sad to catch a fish who has lived to be 100, doesn't it?

Cool facts! You learn something new every day! ;)

Linda said...

To each their own I guess...My hubby fishes (not spear fishing)...but he just loves it. I never will understand because he throws them all back and I don't get the point! Ha!

Happy Saturday

John's comments said...

Fishing, Sitting, Peace

Olivia said...

Ha! I'm WAY too impatient for that! Happy 6WS!

オテモヤン said...


Melissa B. said...

So, now you're getting comments in Japanese? Or is that Chinese? Anyway, wanted to let you know I'm hosting the Academy Awards of Bloggy Bling today, and you're a recipient! Have a lovely...

Call Me Cate said...

I'm with you - I don't have the patience for that. Wow. Also, I don't have the muscles. Those are some big fish!

Thanks for playing 6WS!

Anonymous said...

What a great resource!