Our Polar Plunge event is basically the name we chose for all the ice-fishing events for all age groups combined. As the name suggests, it can be extremely cold at times, but that does not keep our tough competitors away. There really are only three things you need to succeed at our derby:
The fishing rod and patience are pretty self explanatory, but we should mention that in freezing waters fish are lot less active and it can easily take twice as long to catch a fish in winter than in summer. But that is part of the challenge.
The small hut or tent is something that most of our first timers do not think of and we’d like to take the opportunity here to tell you want some of our more creative participants have come up with.
The best hut we saw last year was from David, who came second in the under 13 age category. With his older brother JJ and dad John they spent a few weekends gathering scrap metal and plywood to make something that would provide for a little bit of comfort.
First off they found enough old and rusted steel bars and started cutting them to size. Essentially they had planned for a hut tall enough for David to be able to comfortably sit and stand in which was open to one side. In addition there would half height doors that would provide added protection from wind and snow.
The problem was that they didn’t have the right welding equipment to really make the base structure solid. So. John and David headed over to our local welding school and training provider where in fairness to them they were welcomed with open arms. The school works closely with one of the local pipefitters unions who have been sponsoring this event for quite a few years now.
Within about an hour some of the schools apprentices had welded the steel frame together with the latest equipment and David was well on the way to getting it ready on time.
Next up they simply got plywood and started bolting it to the main structure and then anchored a camping deck chair to the base. The two half doors were an after thought as they went out to Crystal Lake in December to give it a trial run.
Ultimately David was able to spend hours on the ice being able to position is hut in a way that would ensure it backed into the wind. Even snow and hail would not directly hit him that way making the whole event a lot more bearable.
I am pretty certain that over the next couple of years more of our participants will be coming up with the same or similar solutions. These types of hut are just simply so much better than just setting up a tent, which does not provide as much shelter.
If anyone is interested in creating one, or something like in the video below, or maybe even volunteering to help others, then please use the contact page. The essence of this event is community based and we would love to see more people get together in that spirit and help each other out.
We have already spoken to one of our local mechanics and the pipefitters local, who would all be more than willing to help out. Which leads to the final point I want to make.
We have gained quite a few sponsors over the years, but it is important to mention that sponsorship does not have to mean a financial contribution. Time, resources and expertise are all welcome and will qualify you as being listed as an event sponsor.