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Column: Plenty of winter activities

ESCANABA — Surrounded by amazing natural rescores, Delta County is abundant with opportunities for outdoor activities. Although I would consider myself more a of a warm weather girl, the winters in the Upper Peninsula are something great to experience as well.

I love seeing the amazement of visitors when they see the ice shanty community take over Little Bay de Noc. Ice Fishing, while second nature to some, still seems to amaze many others. It seems that those not so familiar with this pastime, are very concerned for these poor fisherman who must be so brave to be out on the ice exposed to the cold and wind.

I am here to tell you that although it does take work to get out and set up, aside from maybe a few die-hard traditionalists, ice fishing in 2021 is hardly roughing it. Insulated shacks, propane heaters, high-powered ice augers and state of the art ATV’s can make cold days on the bays seem like a warm walk in the park.

Ice fishing becomes even easier when you add in expert advice and access to all the tools you could ever want or need. Excited to aid in making hardwater fishing available to all, are our newest chamber members Paul (Blade) and Lacy Bloedorn of Blade’s Bait and Tackle.

Blade and Lacy have been ice fishing Little Bay de Noc for 25 years with family & friends. They are always up for a good fishing story and look forward to meeting other Hard Water Adventurers! What better way to meet the Hard Water Adventurer, than by opening a storefront filled with everything one could need to get out on the ice?

Located at 8923 Bay Shore Drive in Gladstone (Kipling to us locals), Blade’s Bait & Tackle is open exclusively during the hardwater fishing season on & near Little Bay de Noc. With daily hours from 5:00am-10:00pm and after hours bait service, they know how to take care of their customers. Blade’s also offers drop down shelters available for rent for day use or overnight. If Blade and Lacy are busy when you arrive, never fear, for their two yellow Labs, Cedar & Red, are sure to greet you when you visit the shop.

Blade’s website bladesbait.com provides a regularly updated ice condition and fishing report to aid anglers in finding the fish and staying safe. Whether you have been ice fishing your whole life, have always wanted to but didn’t know where to start, or have family and friends coming to visit and want to show them an authentic Yooper experience, stop on it to Blade’s Bait and Tackle and you will be on your way to enjoying winter days on the bays!

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Sheila Krueger is associate director of the Delta County Chamber of Commerce

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