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Some folk prefer fishing rods and others nets, but many in the colder climates enjoy fishing with spears and siting in a dark house shanties staring down a freshly cut hole in the ice. They wait minutes or more than likely hours for that one big fish to come along side their working fish decoy. Now they can plunge and stab with a long handled heavy multi-tip spear before the fish skedaddles away. These elusive fish drives the fishers to great length to pull his load with a equipment sled onto the ice out to his shanty and get setup so he or she can sit hopefully with a small heater surrounding them for hours to get a muskie, pike perch or the many other fish species of the northern lakes. Spear Fishing is driven by the same bug that bites all fishers; to fish and hopefully to catch so the lore can perpetuate the need for loving and living outdoors dream for the rough and rugged. You will find young boys and girls with their boy/girl friends and husband/wife sitting alone or together. Just know this is a sport for all that will brave the elements.
As in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and all the way up to Maine, ice fishing and Spear fishing through the ice is followed by a hearty bunch that can withstand the cold of the North. When spring comes many that belong to clubs and organizations come in to meet and compete with their fish decoy carvings at local decoy competitions. They sit around and make new friends as well as greet friends of many years with discussions of their winter and experiences and adventures on-the-ice.
There are not many organized clubs or associations with Fish Decoys, but many are involved and two of the most important associations are the Great Lakes Fish Decoy Collector’s and Carver’s Assn. (GLFDCCA) and National Fish Decoy Assn (NFDA). Each of these organizations are committed to furthering the knowledge of the Fish Decoy as well as giving a forum through competitions, websites and young folk carving training. One is located in Michigan (GLFDCCA) and the other is in Minnesota (NFDA). This covers quite an area of where Spear Fishing is accomplished.
Other clubs and organizations also are involve in the ice fishing sport in protecting the fish in the states that spearing is allowed. Some like the many groups in the Darkhouse Angling Associations in Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin just a few states that have them.
Fish Decoys Net™ is a online reference website providing carver bios, history, stories and lists of books and articles relating to the FISH.