© 2014 Aaron Atkinson spud

The Spud

When ice fishing, there are three ways to punch a hole in the ice. The first, and most luxurious option, is the gas-powered ice auger. The second option is the hand auger. And the third is the spud. Not to be mistaken for an Idaho Gold, an ice spud is a heavy steel bar with a sharpened tip which is used to chop rather than drill the ice. It’s not the most efficient way to punch a hole in the ice, but it’s by far the most dependable and the cheapest.

Another thing about ice fishing is that ice is slippery and it’s pretty common to take a tumble en route to the honey hole.

On a fateful winter’s day back in high school, Ed and I ventured out to our favorite lake for a couple hours of ice fishing. No sooner had we shut the car door when Ed slipped on a patch of ice in the parking lot. Ed, and the spud he was carrying, both hit the ground hard, but luckily for the spud, Ed’s face broke it’s fall. Looking on the bright side, there was plenty of snow around to keep down the swelling and the size of the shiner.

And while I wish I could say it was worth it on account of the bucket of fish we caught, I’d be lying. We didn’t even get a nibble.

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