Go Hard or Go Home

A long time ago it was common for my football coach to get complaints from me and my teammates during our summer two-a-days.  Coach’s phrase was “go hard or go home.”  At one point he got tired of saying it and had t-shirts made with the saying broadcasted in plain view.  Now that I think about it, that saying relates to ice fishing too.

I’m no weatherman, and while the Groundhog called for an early spring there still is a lot of time to get on the ice.  In the Great Lakes, in Northern New England, and in most parts throughout the Central zones, the ice is perfect.  To my mind, it’s the perfect time of year.

We’ve got more light earlier at sunrise and the sun is setting later each day.  The days of fishing on a frozen tundra are slowly giving way to a more pleasurable experience. Over the weekend I saw one fella sitting out on the ice in a beach chair and a bunch of other guys were playing hockey wearing sweatshirts.  The wind was light, and so were everyone’s attitudes.

The fishing was hot!  Bass, perch, trout and walleye know what’s coming, and in a lot of instances they get more active.  Flags fly more readily as schools of fish push out of the depths and move into shallower water.  They instinctively know that spawning season is around the corner, and I believe that they are trying to add a few more calories before they go hit the beds.

If you haven’t logged as much time this season, now is the time get in a few more trips.  And as it pertains to the condition of the ice, “go hard or go home.”

P.S.  If you live in a warm climate check out this ice fishing link to see what you’re missing!

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Tom Keer

Tom Keer

Tom Keer is an award-winning writer who lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a Contributing Writer for Covey Rise magazine, a Contributing Editor for both Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program.  Keer writes regularly for over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics related to fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor pursuits.  When they are not fishing, Keer and his family hunt upland birds over their three English setters.  His first book, a Fly Fishers Guide to the New England Coast was released in January 2011.  Visit him at www.tomkeer.com or at www.thekeergroup.com.