Posted at: 12/24/2012 10:07 PM
Updated at: 12/26/2012 11:21 PM
By: Laura Kennedy
Rick Rice and his son, Rob, are on the hunt for some fish. But they left their poles at home.
Rick and Rob are spear fishing in a dark house. Their bait, a decoy. Once they clear a hole in the ice, they wait, spear in hand.
"I think the neat thing about spearing is it's kind of a combination between a hunt and ice fishing," Rick said.
"Just sitting out here in the dark house, it's quiet, peaceful," Rob said. "If you get a fish then you've got something to eat."
The cool thing about fishing in a dark house is the lake comes to life in a soft glow.
"It's like having an underwater camera," Rick said. "You're watching almost on TV as the square hole illuminates the room. It adds a whole new element to fishing."
When they catch a glimpse of a fish, the excitement begins.
"It's crazy. If you see a 20 plus pound fish coming in, with a monster head on it, it gets you going pretty good," Rob said.
Rob has been spear fishing for about five years now. This is Rick's third season. They say it helps to know something about the fish you're seeking. In this case, northern pike.
"They're an aggressive fish so get a bait down there,"Rob said. "If they're aggressive that day they'll come and find it."
Also important is proper spearing technique.
"You want to make sure that the fork is even with the fish and then literally, straight down and let it go," Rick said. "We have a rope that's tied to our wrist and we just retrieve it that way."
Catching dinner is always good, but Rick says the best part of the experience is the father-son time.
"Any opportunity I have to spend time with my kids one on one like this in a quiet, dark house talking about father-son stuff, talking about sports, talking about fishing, it just doesn't get any better than that. "it really doesn't," Rick said.
If you want to use a dark house for spear fishing, you need a special license in Minnesota. You do not need a license to spear fish without an ice house.