Dear Dave’s Fish Huts:
For roughly the last year, my dear friend Chloé and I have been fixated on the idea of going ice fishing. As good Albertan girls, it’s problematic that we’ve never participated in this Canadian winter activity.
We’d very much like to come up to Dave’s Fish Huts for an overnight fishing excursion. We’re particularly interested in fishing in Georgina ever since we learned that it’s the ice fishing capital of Ontario. However, as newcomers to the sport, we have a number of questions that we were hoping you could answer for us before we book:
1. How does a tip-up style rod differ from any other types of rods? Do you offer any other rods for rental? (I understand that we would have to purchase our own tackle, but it would be ideal if we could rent rods.)
2. Can prospective fisherwomen buy fishing licenses on-site? Or should we purchase these prior to arrival?
3. I have an extreme hate/fear of fish in general. (This stems from an unfortunate fishing incident that occurred in 1987. I haven’t been fishing since.) I am also a vegetarian. Can we catch fish and throw them back? Or are we required by fishing law to keep them?
4. Chloé is concerned that if we catch fish and throw them back, we’ll be “condemning them to a cold, lonely death.” I certainly don’t want the fish to be lonely. Do fish incur injuries when you catch them and throw them back?
5. Is it possible to catch fish without using the live bait?
6. What is more ethically problematic: catching fish and not eating them (due to the aforementioned vegetarianism) OR catching fish, throwing them back and condemning them to a cold and lonely death?
7. Can fish even become lonely?
8. Suppose we become lonely, do you offer any “introduction to ice fishing” type classes? (If not, are there any other operators within the Georgina area who would offer us some sort of support and guidance?) We will supply the beer.
9. If we aren’t allowed to throw the fish back in, do we have to kill the fish with a bat once they’ve exited the water? Also, what do we do with the fish once we’ve caught them? (Theoretically Chloé would eat them, I suppose. She’s very interested in that particular activity. However, this would also entail filleting the fish, which neither one of us knows how to do. If you have any suggestions, it would be greatly appreciated.)
10. Suppose it turns out that we don’t like the fishing component of the whole ice fishing experience. Would it be okay with you if we just hung out in the fishing hut overnight and played Scrabble instead?
11. After receiving this email, will you still allow us to book a fishing hut? Specifically, is there any availability for one night on the weekend of February 11-12?
I know a number of these questions may seem ridiculous, but they are all meant in earnest (with the possible exception of questions #5 and #6). We’re city dwellers who really want to learn more about ice fishing and try it out for ourselves.
Any additional information you are willing to provide would be greatly appreciated!
All the best,