Ice Fishing Tip

by David Winer

Sycamore Islander, January 2001

Bill Bays and George Malusky II are renowned around the Club for their fishing prowess. Recently they had occasion to learn something new. It seems they both decided to drop by the Island for some ice fishing during the recent heavy freeze-over -- each had the same idea, to use the new warm room to take breaks from the Arctic conditions around their fishing holes.

George and Bill sought out the spots they felt most likely, chopped holes, and proceeded to dangle their chosen baits in the river on the canal side of Sycamore Island. It wasn't long before they discovered each other's presence on the ice and drew up a friendly bet as to who would catch the most fish. A couple of hours passed and the score remained a tie: Malusky 0, Bays 0. Their disappointment showing, both men retreated to the clubhouse to compare notes.

Looking over the main channel from the warm room window, they spotted a man out on the ice who had a stringer full of fish at his side. Amazed, they decided to submerge their pride, and walked out to the man to ask what he was doing to catch all those fish when they hadn't even had a nibble. As they approached him, they saw the fellow was an old timer, all grizzled and serious looking, squatting over his ice-hole. Bill said, "Sir, would you mind telling us how you managed to catch so many fish?" The fellow glared a bit at the intruders, and then said, "Yhhummpf hwavl tchee wmmmsos wmamm."

George looked at Bill inquisitively, but Bill only shrugged to indicate that he couldn't understand either. So George decided to give it a try. "We really admire how successful you are and (gulping) we haven't been able to catch a thing. Would you please tell us your secret?" The old fellow, appearing more annoyed, said, "Yhhummpf hwavl tchee wmmmsos WMAMM."

Now Bill and George were completely frustrated at being so close to discovering this great fishing wisdom but still were not able to understand a word the man said. In desperation, they blurted out in unison, "Sir, would you say that again?"

This time, the man cupped his hands, and spat into them. He stood erect, and shouted, "You have to keep the worms WARM!"