fishing for fun, friendship
Group gathers at bay for 25 years
CHASSELL An eagle-eyed Karen Drahos spots when a
red flag pops up from the white ice, and her group of friends rushes to
the hole cut into Chassell Bay. Drahos eagerly pulls up the line, but
theres nothing at the end.
The fishing holes are scattered around a few yards away
from a simple gray shack, which is the longtime fishing home of the three
After coming up empty, Drahos puts more bait on the end
of the line and puts it back in the water. The bait of choice are suckers
On a bright Sunday morning, Joel and Karen Drahos, of Webster,
Wis., joined Tom and Rhonda Dykowski, of Gladstone, and Phil Huber, of
Houghton, on the ice. Hubers wife, Kathy, fished with the group
Weve fished out here since we were sophomores,
Joel Drahos said.
Phil Huber, of Houghton, said they started fishing and hunting
together about 25 years ago when they were students at Michigan Tech University.
Its a more social thing, Huber said. Part
of it is the fishing.
As years passed, the men were joined by their girlfriends
and later wives. Joel Drahos proposed to Karen last winter on the ice.
Theres no wind or snow Sunday morning so the group
spends a lot of time outside waiting and playing in the snow, tossing
around a football. After awhile, the four retreat to the shack for a round
of euchre, while Karen Drahos waits to see if her luck will change.
I do it because of the camaraderie of getting together
with friends, Drahos said.
After a morning of waiting and false alarms, a flag finally pops up. The card game is abandoned as Karen pulls a 5.3-pound northern pike out after a brief, tumultuous battle. The fish, with a slightly depressed head, measures 29 inches.
The spot is a distant corner of Chassell Bay. Huber said they use a global positioning system to mark the spot.
"We never catch anything out here so no one else wants to come out," Huber jokes.
Each angler is allowed two lines which are scattered around the small shack in various places.
The holes cut through about 18 inches of ice and snow to the water beneath. Huber said there's about 12 feet of water underneath the shack.
Although Tim Dykowski has tried to get the group out on the ice earlier in the morning. Joel Drahos says the fish seem to bite the most from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Their experience Sunday seems to prove Joel's theory -- Karen Drahos' fish was caught shortly before noon. Just minutes later, a 7.4 pound pike is pulled from the same hole.
The fish give little struggle as they're pulled out of the water.
"They're pretty lethargic in the winter," Huber said.
Although they've kept fish before for both eating and mounting, the two fish caught around lunchtime were released back into the water.
After an afternoon of fishing, the group planned to take the shack down for the season.