Sunday, 19 August 2012

Ice fishing in Patuanak 1940's

Fishing  in winter  can  hardly  be  considered  a  sport.  It
is  rather  hard  work  which  deserves  better  than  an  8  cent
cheque  after  a  season  of  it." (written in 1947 by a student of Ile a la Crosse School)

"This  is  how  we  do  it.  We
make  a  hole  in  the  ice  about
3  by  3  feet.  Then  we  tie  the
fishing  line  to  a  jigger
which  we  shove  through  the
hole  under  ice.  We  push  the
line ,  a  jerk  at  a  time ,  until
the  jigger  is  50  yards  away .
Exactly  opposite  we  cut  a
second  hole,  pull  out  the  jigger,  untie  the  line  and  fasten  it on  to  one  end  of  the
net.  Then  the  net  is  pulled
under  the  ice  to  the  first
hole  and  fastened  there  to
a  post  in  the  ice."
"Every  two  or  three  days ,
we  visit  our  nets,  generally
with  a  dog  team.  Some  use
horses.  The  amount  of  fish
we  catch  depends  on  the  season  and  the  weather-- we  can
depend  very  little on  either.
The  average catch  includes
pickerel,  sunfish,  Jackfish,
whitefish  and  a  :few  salmon
trout  which  weigh  up  to  26
pounds .  .  ."
"Some times  we  are  very  dis-
appointed  not  to  find  anything
(but  suckers)  in  our  nets,
whilst  on  other  days ,  we  pick
off  as  many  as  a  hundred  big
" fellers"--the  poor  fish~"
Raymond  Ayotte  (VIII)

Raymond Ayotte was a grade 8 students at Ile a la Crosse School in 1947 when he wrote this story.

Raymond Ayotte was born March 28, 1932 in Ile a la Crosse.
"Louis Roy Ayotte (his dad) owned a store, cafe, and pool hall in Ile a La Crosse.  It was the local gathering place. Raymond Ayotte (his son) remembers him building barges and hauling freight and selling the wood when they arrived up to Ile a la Crosse.  He sold the business to Jules Marion the MLA for the liberal government for cash."

from "Island Breeze" ....December 1947    (Ile a la Crosse newspaper)

Photos taken on Peter Pond Lake by Patuanak are from the following site.

The following two photos belonging to this set were taken March 1955 on Peter Pond Lake near Patuanak.
(search: Buffalo Narrows at)

Camelia Wolveriine wrote;  "That's the late Pierre Lariviere with the chisel, the other is George Campbell"

'Ice fishing' ~ (Dene) ~ Patuanak, Sask 1955 Photo: Rosemary Eaton [LAC] ---  Marius Paul commented on facebook that this is on Shagwena Lake. how a jigger board works

   "The jigger is a dart-shaped plank about 6 feet (1.8 metres) long. It is equipped with a steel-tipped wooden arm running through a slot and hinged to a steel rod. A long rope is attached to the rod.

    To set a net, the jigger is placed through a hole cut in the ice. The jigger is positioned so that the steel-tipped arm sticks up against the underside of the ice at the water's surface. When all is ready, the operator pulls on the rope (applies force). The rope is attached to the metal rod (the lever) on the jigger. When pulled, the rope applies force to the wooden arm, pushing it upwards and causing the steel tip to dig into the ice and propel the jigger forward a meter or so.

    When the rope is released, the steel tip drops away and returns to its former position. The operator tugs the rope again and the process repeats until the jigger has moved a distance from the first hole equal to the length of the net. Sometimes the jigger can be seen through the ice, especially if it has been painted a bright colour, but usually the tapping noise made by the steel tip under the ice is used to locate it. Then a second hole is drilled just in front and the jigger with its trailing rope is retrieved.

    The jigger rope entering the first hole is then tied to the gill net. As the rope is pulled from the second hole, the net enters the water through the first hole and is pulled into position, straddling the two holes."

Below are a few videos showing ice fishing with nets.