BEST FISHING HOLE (ICE) - 2000
Sure, we're skeptical of some of the big fish stories floating around. One chilly February afternoon, a Calhoun angler regaled us with the yarn of how he caught not one, not two, not three, but four tiger muskies in a single weekend--a tale that prompted one acquaintance to frankly and cheerfully pronounce: "That guy's full of shit!" We're inclined to agree. After all, the muskie is hardly the readiest of the winter biters. Besides, the storyteller had already confessed to some heavy drinking, the vice that lurks at the heart of many a fish fiction. All that said, Lake Calhoun can be a remarkably fruitful ice-fishing spot, with a bounty of panfish, walleye, and northern. Why? Maybe because summertime anglers, prohibited from using outboard motors here, seldom fish beyond the shoreline. Because ice fishers are free to roam the entire expanse, the theory goes, they encounter a less wary and educated class of fishes. Whatever the cause, Calhoun is generally regarded among the most productive of the metro lakes--particularly in early and late winter. It is one of the cruelties of the sport that the best fishing happens when the ice is thin and thus a little more dangerous. Of course, if you fall into a city lake like Calhoun, you're more likely to get rescued than if you plunge into icy waters out in the boonies. And if you get skunked here, you can still wander to the nearby taverns on Hennepin Avenue and, auger in hand, tell a few lies. When it comes to ice angling, the crowd you're liable to run into is just as naive as any damn fish.