I got a call from a friend yesterday asking if I wanted to go ice fishing. The Yup'ik word for ice fishing is manaq (muh-nuk). Yup'ik words are commonly mixed with English prefixes or suffixes, and in this case you would say I went manaqing. Here is the road leading down to the river road.
We cruised about 50-60mph out on the river road. The ice fishing spot was about 20 miles or so away, right past the village Napakiak. It was a little scary driving so fast on top of ice, but it was fun and exciting and we were in a 4X4 and Sheila is from this area and has been driving it her whole life.
We past the bluffs on the way, they are beautiful and I am still amazing as to their geological origins.
We also saw an ice trucker on our way. This is a Lyndyn air cargo truck, probably delivering cargo to some village along the frozen river.
Here is what it looked like when we first got there. A few other cars with people but not many.
Avery and I excited about our first ice fishing trip.
Here is Avery and Alfred breaking open an old whole that had refrozen over.
My ice fishing whole. There were hundreds of hole near where we were and you could basically take your pick, so if I got bored from one hole, I'd just switch to another.
Sheila was our ice fishing coach and the first of us to catch a fish.
I was the next to catch one. We were fishing for pike. And you just simply use a stick with some string and a hook. You use the fish eyes as bait.
Here is how busy the manaqing spot was by the time we got ready to leave. If you click on the picture and enlarge it, you will see a guy standing a bit left with his ice auger in his hand. He had just finished drilling a new whole when I took this picture. The auger is about 5 ft tall and he had to push it in almost all the way to drill through. That means the ice is about 4.5 ft thick.
Sheila, Alfred, and Avery manaqing.
Averys first catch. He was pretty please with himself. Look at that big cheesy grin.
Alfred's first catch. We were almost ready to leave when the boys both caught one within about 2 minutes of each other.
Mine was the biggest of the fish that we caught. It was a really slow day. We each only caught one, except Sheila who got two. She said that usually they bite one right after the other.
Here is the ice road on our way home.
And my fish in the sink. Sheila says that she dries them and eats them with seal oil, but I wanted to try my hand at filleting mine.
The gills. Avery thought it was pretty cool.
And my fillets. I thought I did pretty good for my first time.
Cross number 1 off the list. Whoooyoooo! It was fun and it was a beautiful day. It was just nice to be out of Bethel doing something.
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