Anglers are out on the bay ice of the Lake Superior harbor. Christmas rains didn't hurt the ice conditions here.
"...any slush on the ice? No, things are pretty good here."
A solid foot of ice has fishermen of all ages hoping for the best.
"... that's a big mark!"
Eagerly watching the fish finder they watch, but not always catch...
"... That one was not interested."
Yet these dedicated individuals continue their outdoor vigil if for no other reason than ... it's fishing.
"I just like getting out of the house. I'm pretty much addicted to fishing. I fish Muskies in the summer, Walleyes in the spring and whatever in the winter. I like coming down here cause it's close and there's big fish. Not a ton of numbers but there's some monsters here."
One angler on the bay accidentally hooked a sturgeon while fishing for Walleye. The guys I talked to say it happens.
"You always see the big red marks down there and all of a sudden your bobber goes down, set the hook into it and it feels like a log. Then the fight is on, from there you just gotta play the fish and let the go when it wants to."
Anglers on the harbor need to be aware of something else too ... the Coast Guard ...
"What you need to watch for in the harbor is when the cutter comes through."
The Coast Guard maintains shipping channels through the harbor for much of the winter. It's an annual hazard for anglers.
Coast Guard officials also warn the wake of the cutter can cause large cracks that may reach close to the harbor's shore.
Still, these sportsmen choose the harbor for the ice...
"When you get on top of this black ice you can see the fight below you"
... for the variety....
"Pike, musky, walleye, sturgeon, perch, you have an opportunity to trophy in any of those so..."
"You never really know what you're going to get when you go fishing ... '
On the Duluth Harbor, I'm David Hoole for nature matters.