What is it about Ice Fishing?

I don’t fish.

I like lots of aspects of the fishing culture. I like lakes and rivers. I like boats. I like hand tied flies, and I like fish.

I just don’t want to catch them and kill them and eat them.

So I observe, ask questions and translate into various paintings.

For the 1st time I am living on the shore of a frozen lake. I knew about ice fishing, but I didn’t pay much attention. This winter, life on the ice is proving to be a vivid, ever changing show.

The shanties began to appear in December and now there are at least 3 dozen.



Some have full on heating systems and rustic touches like elbow stove pipes. Beyond you can see a “bait bank.” A bank consists of a submerged barrel to store live bait, generally with a padlock on it.


This one has a solar powered porch light too.


And some have homey, gingham curtains and custom, fish, address plates.

Fascinated by this new, growing village on the ice, I began photographing, drawing and finally painting with gouache.




A helpful fisherman posed for the foreground figure. His manual ice auger is in the background. many fisherman have power tools for this.


Once the ice has formed, it is strong enough to drive on, so there are tire tracks everywhere.



Once I became familiar with what the surfaces looked like, I began to think about what lay beneath.

That’s when I imagined this scene.


If you enjoyed this post, please like my page: Ashley Wolff Art on Facebook. I sell prints and out of print books in my Etsy shop and my webpage is www.ashleywolff.com.


11 thoughts on “What is it about Ice Fishing?

  1. Glad to see you’ve taken interest so we can see your marvelous work on it! If your library has a copy, have a look at this book too: One frozen lake / Deborah Jo Larson ; illustrations by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher. There is need for another PB on the subject for sure!

  2. Shelagh says:

    So you are spending the winter on Dunmore? I live towards the south end of Hooker Rd. Only the die-hard fishermen will be out today methinks!!

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