A number of years ago, before I became a sun-chasing snowbird, ice fishing was my thing. Most winter weekends found me, my wife, my youngsters and my English setter Sally chasing red-flagged tip-ups for pickerel and salmon at Seboeis Lake. Our first stop northbound was always at Old Town Trading Post to pick up a bait bucket full of live bait. Every once in a while, you could buy live smelts, which were the ticket for the landlocked salmon.

Life was simpler then, especially when it came to fishing regulations. Back then, a bait fish was a bait fish. You didn’t concern yourself with the species of bait fish. If it wiggled under the ice, it would catch fish. Not so today.

The author is editor of the Northwoods Sporting Journal. His email address is vpaulr@tds.net.

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