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Three More Tip-ups

Howdy, Neighbor. People have been telling Phil he’s a good storyteller for a long time… so we are trying something new and pretty-much non-sales Just sharing occasional sweet stories, tall tales, and life lessons learned around these parts. 

Northwoods Notes are a new, semi-bi-irregular peek into the heart and mind of Phil Frasier… you can read or listen… whichever you prefer… and you are receiving a copy because you’re a current customer of Frasier’s Plumbing and Heating, Inc. We think you’ll like them, but you can unsubscribe any time by clicking on the link at the bottom. But we hope you give us a chance!



I was probably six or seven when my Uncle Dave took me on my first ice fishing adventure. One adventure that has lasted a lifetime.

I kept wanting to go ice fishing, so my mom said to call my Uncle Dave, he goes ice fishing all the time, he’ll probably take ya.

So, I called Uncle Dave. I asked him if he’d take me ice fishing with him. He said, “Well heck ya, that’s three more tip-ups for me!”


He showed up with the snowmobile. I climbed onto the sled on the back.

Uncle Dave had a Golden Retriever named, Ginger.

Ginger jumped on the sled with me and Uncle Dave just took off.

All I could smell were the exhaust fumes, and all I could see were the taillights.

Pretty soon I couldn’t see the taillights anymore because the light and my face were covered in ice. Uncle Dave was just go’in and go’in and go’in in the dark as I’m hanging on to Ginger for dear life. My face was totally covered in ice and snow. I couldn’t open my eyes.

When we got to where we were going, I was a little upset and Uncle Dave was just laughing and laughing as he peeled a seven-sixteenth inch layer of ice off of my face, and shoveled a half a foot of snow out of my shirt.


That was my ride to and from the ice fishing ground.

Then we started drill’in holes in the dark and setting up tip-ups.

Uncle Dave started drill’in. My job was to take a fishing rod and reel with a weight on it and drop it to the bottom and feel what the bottom was. I jigged around to determine if it was rocky or muddy. This was before we had technology to do that for us.

Then I measured how deep it was. I measured the line and I wrote next to the hole in the snow, eighteen feet, twelve feet, however deep each spot was.

Then, we went back and picked where we were going to put our tip-ups and at what depth. If you measured the line the wrong way, you’d never get a bite if you were on the bottom, which I did once, and never got a bite all day. Uncle Dave knew I was fishing on the bottom and still laughs about it to this day.

The old auger was loud and stinky, but it ran all the time. I’ll never forget the sound of that thing.


Uncle Dave built a fire and put up field goal posts out of notched trees. He put’em up on the lake and we’d try to kick field goals to pass the time.

We jigged all day long in the ice shack. It was so much fun.

I got to go fishing and spend time with my Uncle….I loved it!

Eventually it got to where we’d go all day, every single Saturday and Sunday. We’d either go to Clear Lake or Big Twin. Uncle Dave and I fished like that all the way until I was into high school.

My Uncle Dave was the one that I did ninety percent of my fishing and hunting with.

Along with my dad, Uncle Dave was a main mentor in my life that inspired me when I was a kid.

He was the main person in my life that inspired and mentored me when I was a kid. I could never pay him back for the reward he’s given me.

Who was the mentor in your life? Who are you mentoring?


The page has turned on 2020, it’s now 2021..a chance for a new page to be written. Is there a kid in your life that you could be a mentor to this year?

Who knows, you might just wind up on a lifelong adventure.

Take care, Neighbor.

Oh, and P.S. Nowadays I joke with my wife Joanna, every time we get a new grandbaby, I hold the baby up and tell her, “Three more tip-ups!”


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