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Scouts Venture North for Ice Fishing Opportunity

By Boy Scouts of America

Scouts from across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula journeyed north to Lake Cadillac for a chance to go ice fishing over the Presidents Day weekend.

While the Boy Scouts of America’s Michigan Crossroads Council typically offers multiple ice fishing events each winter, uncommonly warm temperatures in its southern districts have resulted in thin, dangerous ice. Many in attendance at Lake Cadillac travelled from as far afield as the Detroit area.

“It was a great day to get out and do some fishing,” Denver Laabs, a Cub Scout parent, said. “I’m from Waterford where this year’s ice fishing season has been a bust.”

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The dozens of Scouts in attendance even had the opportunity to build their own ice fishing pole, according to Field Director Ryan Kreisch. Armed with their new gear and an ample supply of waxworms, they then ventured out on the ice.

Th Scouts hooked numerous yellow perch throughout the morning, with fewer catches in the late afternoon. Most of the fish caught ranged from 4 inches to 10 inches in length. While many families practiced catch-and-release, others harvested the larger “jumbo perch” to take home and cook. 

While a warmer winter has precluded some activities and forced Michigan Scouting to adapt, local leaders said the challenges have not prevented them from delivering program. 

“We’ve had to innovate a bit this year,” Field Director Bob DeWar said. “Our Klondike Derby sled races turned into chariot races. Some events had to be moved further north. Ultimately, Scouting always continues in the face of adversity.”

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