There’s a skinny, icy glaze on the Ankona’s entrance casting platform and there’s no means I’m stepping up there, particularly after the lengthy skate I took down the boat ramp after we launched the rattling factor. Touchdown on one’s ass on the backside of a frozen dock is one factor. Touchdown on one’s ass on the backside of a sixty-foot deep, forty-degree lake at nighttime is sort of one other.

I’m completely comfy casting from right here within the pit, thanks very a lot, though “comfy” is a relative time period contemplating the truth that I can’t really feel my toes.

I change off the Petzl and slide it down round my neck, over my stocking cap and face-warming buff, and stuff it into the awkward wad of fleece layers and zippers that bunch up underneath my chin. I don’t want the torch now as there’s simply sufficient mild leaking over the shoreline behind us to start to see what we’re doing and to get a great first take a look at the lake that surrounds us. Birds. The place are the birds?

It’s a two-edged sword, the solar. We’d like the sunshine in order that we would discover the birds that, in flip, lead us to the bait; bait that, hopefully on this bitter chilly morning, is likely to be interlaced with feeding landlocked stripers.

And we definitely may use the skinny heat that it brings; de-icing the decks, taking the sting off the coolness that has settled into our cores, warming the highest thermal in the direction of a extra hospitable feeding clime, and defrosting my regrets over not bringing that further layer of quilted poly.

However for all the great it does, the solar brings its points. It’s bitter chilly, right here at dawn, as there’s not a cloud within the sky to carry within the warmth, regardless of the supply. Our window is small, for, with the arrival of daylight, our star-strewn indigo ceiling will rapidly flip bluebird brilliant and drive the bait deep, out of the attain and the curiosity of the gulls, altering the sport from wanting up on the birds to staring down at an eight-inch Lowrance show; looking for darkish arcs at thirty ft. Online game fishing.

Do we wish the solar, or don’t we? The query is moot because it’s coming regardless; rising out of the bushes and illuminating our fluid environment, sprinkling diamond-sharp sparks into the skiff’s trailing spray as we skip throughout the lake, making an attempt our darnedest to maintain up with the terns. And apart from, with or with out the solar’s small winter consolation, I gained’t really feel my toes all day.

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