Up north here in Minnesota, where winters are long and cold, ice fishing is one of the things we do to enjoy the season and stay active. Although its often the butt of jokes in movie story lines, like Grumpy Old Men, ice fishing is truly a sport.
Ice fishing demands self control. Knowing when to move on, and knowing when to persever is the constant emotional struggle an ice fisher has.
A knowledge of the environment is required. Knowing your lake or river, and considering the weather, and tiem of the season (early or late ice).
Like other sport, there is danger involved. Last year, I accidentally stepped down an ice hole while tearing down a portable shelter, tearing my miniscus. Like an injured football player, I required orthoscopic surgery to repair the damage.
Ice fisherman concern themselves with the biology of the fish. Cleaning fish, we often will investigate stomach contents to discover what the fish are eating. This can help us choose bait to use.
We're concerned about such things as the oxygen levels in the lakes. Groups of sportsmen will get together and place aerators in lakes to keep the lakes oxygenated in the late winter.
The best of us are also concerned about pollution, lake run off, and we take a very dim view of poachers who flout the law, or slobs who litter the lake.
High tech electronics take the sport of ice fishing to new levels. Vexlars and cameras help us understand what is going on under the ice. Ice sonar helps us measure depth.
Ice fishing involves much more than just dilling a hole in the ice and stting on a bucket. The pursuit of fish through the ice is a fun activity, especially if done with friends. You should try it some time.