Fitted in a heavy, blaze orange coat and pants, fishing rod and spud bar in hand, Tim Sacka stands on the frozen edge of Lake St. Clair. Using the spud bar, he chips away at the ice through a layer of fluffy snow, to uncover a hole drilled the day before. He waits 10 minutes for the water to quiet and settle, then sits down on a five-gallon white plastic bucket and dips his line through the frozen slush. The sun is bright, and it’s quiet on the ice.
Sacka has ice fished on Lake St. Clair, situated between Detroit and Canada, for the last 35 years. Here, he’ll catch perch, bluegill, and every once in a while, a bass.
But in recent decades, his fishing trips have started later and later every winter.
“I used to come before Christmas, but for the last three years it’s been the middle of January,” he said, sitting on his bucket, periodically withdrawing the rod to remove the thin layer of ice that had accumulated on the line. It was late January, and only the second time this winter the lake had been frozen enough for Sacka to safely venture... Read more