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Winter Madness?

Inexplicable as it may seem to many "normal" Nebraskans, there is among us a dedicated coterie of people who relish long, cold winters -- people who religiously watch the 10 o'clock weather and are cheered by the prospect of below-zero nights and cold, gray days.

These are the people who can spend a long autumn afternoon in the workshop inventing a new, improved, collapsible shelter, who haunt garage sales in search of broken fishing rod tips, and who will pass up a comfortable couch and a football game in order to spend a January Sunday afternoon sitting on an upended drywall bucket in the middle of a frozen lake.

The name of their dementia is ice fishing, and it is only fair to offer this warning: Ice fishing is a contagious and wide-spread madness. Its signs hunched figures staring down into holes in the ice, rambling communities of shanties, shelters and tents covering frozen lake surfaces-are likely to be seen on Qwest Lake at Eugene T. Mahoney State Park in eastern Nebraska, on Box Butte Reservoir in the Panhandle, on Holmes Lake, a snowball's throw from downtown Lincoln or on Oliver Reservoir near Kimball, more than 300 miles to the west.

Nevertheless, a knowledge of ice fishing tackle and techniques, equipment, baits, lures and safety on the ice does not automatically accompany the disease, and for the newly infected as well as for the old enthusiast who wants to brush up on equipment and techniques.

This online guide has been reproduced from the printed Ice Fishing Guide that originally appeared in the December 1993 issue of NEBRASKAland Magazine. The production of the original guide was coordinated by Tom Keith. All information and Photos Copyright NEBRASKAland Magazine 1996. All Rights Reserved. end footer

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