Petra's homepage


Experiences of a Dutch Journalist




Ice fishing, January 2002

You can't say you have experienced Sakhalin without trying Vodka, the banya (Russian sauna) and ice fishing. We did all three in one day and really feel Russificated!


Normally, ice fishing is tough: it's awfully cold. The guy who had organized the trip has the right connections (very useful in Russia). So we ended up having coffee at this place before moving to the sea with the promise that food would be ready after two hours and the banya hot!


From where we parked the car, it was a few hundred meter walk over the frozen sea to the fishing spot. We were not alone... In March, when it is a little warmer, the ice is literally black with people.


Emile is professionally drilling his way through the ice (with his background, it shouldn't be a problem...). It wasn't too difficult, the ice was only 20 centimeters thick.


The guide demonstrated how you remove the loose ice from the hole with a tea strainer to allow the threat to move freely.


In itself, ice fishing is a pretty passive sport..... Just stand and wait until you catch a fish. We were told by Russian experts to put the hook just above the sea bottom..


Elena here, brought the vodka to keep us warm from the inside.


This is me with the first fish I caught in my life! I even caught another one later. Emile also caught two. Cat Tigre really enjoyed the fish.




The best thing of the ice fishing was warming up in the banya afterwards and drinking and eating in good company. We thank the Russians for their hospitality!