Purity Beef Buckets, Lawn Chairs and Coolers = Perfect Seats

Local artists have depicted the image above of the families gathering with their Purity Beef Buckets, Lawn Chairs and Coolers on the ice surrounding communities. I could not resist snapping this image, as this was truly a very real experience – living artwork on the Great Northern Peninsula.

On December 27th, 2011 since we were 11 people we took three vehicles to Brig Bay, NL  One of the very few places where the salt water freezes to permit us to ice fish for smelts. Upon arrival we could see we had a challenge of making a small jump on the frozen ice. We all made it safely across without anyone getting wet.

My cousin quickly put her rod down a previously drilled hole and instantly there was a nibble and voila – an ice fish made the leap from the water. It brought a level of excitement, especially among the children. Who am I kidding, we were all eager to cast our rods and catch some fish.

My friend from Switzerland is all ready to use an ice auger to drill a hole in the ice.

Look at the expression on my German friend’s face. The eyes tell the story as the ice fish quickly leaps from the hole.

I helped my youngest cousin catch her first ice fish.

We made sure we had the perfect bait, which  I will have to keep a secret. Never have I been able to see the fish so plentiful. One would be able to drop their rod and see the fish in the hole swim to the hook. One person on the ice caught two smelts on one hook.

We were lucky, as I remember being younger with my family spending a long time on the pond, freezing and not getting a nibble. There were no complaints by anyone, as our faces are all draped with smiles.

We had quite the successful day – all of us, including the novices, rookies and the experts. Our bounty for the day was enough for ourselves and grandparents to have a meal.

After leaving the ice we reflected on the truly real experience of what it means to live rural. The following day for lunch my grandmother had fried up the smelts with boiled potatoes, freshly baked bread and a cup of tea. What a feed!

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North


  1. Freedom at its best. You sure had fun catching all of those smelts. That was wonderful Christopher. Fancy seats and all-only i Northern Nfld.

    1. Thanks for the comment! This was one of the many highlights of the Christmas holidays. I am so happy we could have this experience with friends and family with the perfect temperature, chairs, atmosphere and catch – you are right only in Rural Newfoundland & Labrador.

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