The winter tends to be a time of increased artistic output for me since I can’t fish or garden when water and/or soil and/or air are frozen. This year the area of creativity that’s getting the most sustained workout is photography. Though I am not particularly fond of ice fishing, I do like ice itself quite a bit.
These fish (I’m calling them goldfish, though some may actually be koi (i.e., common carp) were active under the ice of Botany Pond on the University of Chicago campus a week ago. Since then we’ve had snow and the ice is covered completely. I know they’re still under there, so I’m hoping for another chance to photograph them before the ice is gone. Next time I’ll have better equipment and hope to get some better angles and lighting.
(I made this a few years ago with Photoshop, not with a knife and real pumpkin. Next year I’ll do a real one.)
From page 217 of The Book of Fish and Fishing by Louis Rhead, 1917:
For big trout, lying low in deep pools, more particularly the brown trout, the worm should be sunk to the bottom; it is sure to be taken quick, if the worm is actively alive. Of course, suckers, eels, and other vermin are liable to take it, if left in one position for any length of time. To prevent such annoyance, keep it moving, a yard or so every few seconds, not so violently as to scare the fish.
Later (p. 300) he accuses suckers and other disreputable fish of interfering with the stocking of trout:
Fry, unless bred in enormous quantities, are very little use in rivers which already contain feeders on fish, like eels, catfish, suckers, carp, pickerel, and perch.
I’ve been working on several posts for the moxostoma blog, but none seemed worthy of being the first. This old sucker is just the thing to break that barrier.
From Les poissons d’eau douce du Canada (1897) by A. N. Montpetit. More to come from this book.
(This image is in the public domain because it is too old to be under copyright.)