This story started many years ago, but is finally being told.
For the last few years a group of friends from South Dakota have been coming to Waconia with the same purpose in mind each year. Camp out on the frozen ice, try to catch a few fish, and stuff their bellies full of all the wild game that is provided at the local Wild Game Dinner here in town. We ran into this group of guys last winter when our curiousity got the best of us and forced us to stop in. It wasn't like they were hidden out on the lake or anything. They have a very large tent and a 20ft pole stuck in the ice next to it which sports our nations colors, and they can be seen from just about anywhere on the lake.
We ended up spending quite a bit of time chatting with these boys last year, and were anxious to see them out on the water again this season. Well, just as planned, the phone rang prior to their arrival and we met them for another weekend on our lake. We set them in an area that had been producing quite a few Panfish and an occasional Walleye, but the cold made fishing nearly impossible. The temps were well below zero for the second year in a row and the fishing was not exactly spectacular. With their tent not suited for fishing inside in the warmth, the only fishing that could take place was in holes drilled outside the shelter. A few fish were caught by them the first day, including panfish and a smaller eye', but nothing to write home about.
With the conditions not so good, it was still a pleasure to have a few beverages with these boys again and to talk foolish and tell jokes. Just the atmosphere of standing on frozen ice inside a tent when it is -30 outside makes these guys a conversation piece for just about everyone who see's them. Unlike other years, these men didn't really have any peace and quiet, and their zipper was almost constantly going up and down from people who wanted to come inside to check them out. At times I think it was almost too hectic for the guys, but I hope a good time was had by all of them. Heck, they even made front page of our local Waconia Patriot. If you get this paper you already know what I am talking about, but if not, I suggest you check it out to see more about this great story.
A special thanks to Erik, Kent, Chris, Ken and Dan from South Dakota. Hope to see ya'll again next year!