I call it a bob house because of my New Hampshire roots. George didn’t know what I was talking about, he calls it a shanty. Turns out we are both right on the name, a little googleing turned up the origin of the word.
“it got its name from all the shanties gathering in one spot on the lakes to smelt fish making up a small shanty town, they would take the spring steel from womens’ corsits and mount one over each hole in the shanty and bob the spring up and down to attract the smelts ( same idea as the spring board used today ) after talking with your ‘nabor or enjoying a warm cup of rum with him they would always say iam going back to the bob house to bob up some smelts if your shack was not part of the shanty town it was called a shanty ”
It really does not matter what you call that thing you put on the ice and sit in while you stare through a hole of really dark and cold water. The point is that you are putting a structure up and sitting inside it, on ice. You might tote a sled with all your gear in it, or you might drive your snowmobile out on it, however you get there, the point is to stay outside waiting for fish to bite on bait in the middle of winter.
Good times, good times. However each year there are accidents and so a little prevention can go a long way for a successful season. I had a nice conversation with Coast Guard Executive Petty Officer Chris Zahn over in Burlington. He emailed me over a Coast Guard press release with some tips on keeping safe. He said that last year a couple of trucks went through the ice on Champlain, and hopes that it does not happen this year.
Simple to Remember: I.C.E.
I: Intelligence– know the weather and ice conditions, know where you are going and how to call for help. Never go out alone.
C: Clothing– have the proper clothing to prevent hypothermia. Wear a waterproof exposure suit and a life preserver.
E: Equipment– have the proper equipment. Carry two ice picks or screwdrivers, in case you fall in. Use these items to dig into the ice and pull yourself out. They are more effective then bare hands! Carry a whistle or noise maker to alert people that your are in distress. Carry a cellular phone or marine band radio (channel 16 ) in a waterproof container so that you can call for help if you come across trouble.
And a note about drinking alcohol while out there. You might think it warms you up, but it will work against your good judgement and a combination of extreme cold and alcohol increases ones chances of hypothermia