Introducing people to the sport of ice fishing has become quite an enjoyable pastime. I’ve come to know the all too familiar look of uneasiness on every person’s face when they try to come to grips with the fact that they are standing on ice. Admittedly, a relatively thin sheet of it on what was only a few short months, sometimes even weeks ago, wide open water. My go-to answer nowadays to the expected ‘Are you sure this is safe?’ question is “I hope so…” In all seriousness however, as with any outdoor activity, preparedness and doing your homework beforehand are keys to a safe and successful outing.
I was recently part of a morning excursion to the Red River at Selkirk with my team at CityCats guiding service. We were tasked with introducing the viewers of City TV’s ‘Wheeler in the Morning’ to this rapidly growing in popularity winter activity. The enthusiasm of remote reporters Mark Neufeld and Erica Natividad was evident the moment they stepped out of their SUV and onto the frozen river. In between live-to-air segments where we shared information about equipment, techniques, and food, I was able to get to know Filipina-Canadian Erica a little bit better.
Born and raised in Toronto, she moved to Winnipeg only last summer specifically to take on this career opportunity with City TV. Erica is a graduate of York University and then later attended Seneca College to specialize in broadcasting. This was her first time ever ice-fishing and she was admittedly a little nervous about it at the start. Erica quickly got over it however as she was active in helping drill holes with the ice auger, jigging rods, and hopping from tent to tent to check on our progress.
It’s been a mild winter but the temperature on this morning was bitterly cold. The TV crew stayed warm by hanging out in the tents and sitting in their running vehicle. The fishing was slow but that was offset just a little by the fabulous breakfast cooked up in one of the tents by Danny of Danny’s Whole Hog.
By the end of the morning show we were only able to ice one sauger on camera. I will try to make it up to Erica by taking her out on a trip in the summer instead. You can watch remote reporter Erica Natividad’s adventures around Winnipeg every weekday morning from 6-9am on City TV’s Wheeler in the Morning.