I love fishing. The thing is, I hate fish. If I could somehow go straight from reeling them into the boat to chowing down a huge plate fried walleye, I'd be the happiest SOB on the planet. That part in the middle where you have to touch the fish & remove the hook (sometimes needing to dislodge the hook from deep inside the fish's throat), then hold it by the gills for a photo op and clean it... well, I'd prefer to outsource those tasks.
My Uncle Whitey (a nickname he earned as a kid for having white-blonde hair... or at least I think that's how the story goes) is an avid ice fisherman and one of my favorite people, period. He invited me to slay some sunnies on Prior Lake with his buddy, Nellie. I hadn't been ice fishing for literally 20 years (and the last time I went, I didn't do any of the hard stuff). That's so un-Minnesotan. I had to go.
I tackled four tasks on this trip: I drilled a hole in the ice with an auger (#118), took a fish off a hook for the first time in my life (embarrassing/#119) and learned how to clean sunnies (#120), which I completely rocked! I also swallowed a live minnow (#117) and you can watch the horrific/hilarious video here.
I had the best dang time fishing with these guys. It was fun getting back to my Minnesotan roots, facing my fear of fish (even after SCUBA diving, I am still pretty scared of fish... so irrational!) and learning how to clean a big bucket of lunch. Thanks for the invite and for putting up with my ridiculous screaming. I can't help it.