"I must admit I loved getting Vancouvered at the Winter Olympics," said WW&W Wildlife Correspondent Paris Hiltunen, "I'm thrilled to welcome Lindsey Vonnanen and Julia Mancusonen to our ever-growing correspondent network. With them aboard, it can truly be said that this column is going downhill fast."
If you haven't been following the Olympics, this will bring you up to speed: Lindsey and Julia are American sweethearts who have played hurt and overcome adversity to win gold and silver, proving that dreams can come true with sheer determination, hard work, athleticism and good looks.
They also overcame modesty long enough to appear in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, creating a controversy for appearing a little on the sexy side. You can't blame them for flaunting their God-given good looks, can you?
"Thank God Sports Illustrated encourages them to do so," said Paris, "I'd be there in a heartbeat if they asked me. These girls are going viral on the internet."
Turns out theskichannel.com is featuring the "SuperBabes of Snow" with Lindsey, Julia and a half dozen other hot Nordic blonde winter sports girls heli-skiing and snowboarding in bikinis and less, which has drawn fire from more conservative viewpoints.
"If we're going to objectify women, at least level the playing field and objectify men as well," Paris lobbied. "I want equal opportunity ogling of the boys, those lean, buffed-to-the-max Olympic skiing, speed skating, snowboarding and hockey hunks," she smiled, adding that neither boy nor girl curlers did much for her.
It was like her wish was theskichannel.com's command; "The SuperStuds of Snow" has joined the "SuperBabes of Snow" feature and everybody's happy. Paris has that effect on people.
In winter sports news closer to home, ice conditions at Copper Harbor run from the liquid state with float ice from the Township Dock past the Harbor Haus to the lighthouse, except for the far east bay, easta the moutha Fanny Hooe Crick, where it's frozen over a foot thick.
"And subject to change without notice," said Larry Smith, who's been drilling down with Mark Martin mosta the week, catching their three-fish limits of foot-long splake with a few bigger fish in the 14-17-inch range. "The food chain is alive and well when they're hitting both live and dead minnows, smelt tails and other body parts."
Trophy northerns are making a good living shagging splake beneath the ice. "We've seen a few nice big ones," Smith added, "A twelve pounder hit a twelve inch splake I was reeling up, but I couldn't get it through the hole and it took off. The splake ate my Swedish Pimple tipped with a live minnow, and the northern ate the splake. All I got back was a bare hook."
"We did a lot of experimenting," commented Martin, who goes by Mark Martinen when he's in the Keweenaw. "They (splake) were feeding on live sculpin, smelt and shiners as well as the Gulp versions. We showed 'em every jig, rig, and bait imaginable; My hottest jig was a sculpin-colored 1/8 oz fuzzy grub."
"We also caught fish deadsticking with No. 8 circle hooks and teensy trebles tipped with live minnows set on free spool."
For the latest ice fishing gear, lures, electronics and shelters, visit baydenoclures.com, berkley-fishing.com, carhartt.com, clamcorp.com, duenorthproducts.com, strikemaster.com, swedishpimple .com, frabill.com, iceteam.com, rapala.com, aquavu.com, lowrance.com, otteroutdoors.com, northlandtackle.com, or vexilar.com.
For bait, ice conditions and fishing reports, call Indian Country Sports, L'Anse (524-6518), Harter Mountain, Calumet (337-0913), Northwoods Sporting Goods, Hancock (482-5210), Gas Lite General Store, Copper Harbor (289-4652), Northwoods Bait Shop, Chassell (523-4878), Fish On II Guide Service, Lac la Belle (289-4481), Greig's Taxidermy & Tackle, Ontonagon (906-884-2770), Russ's Bait & Tackle, Lake Gogebic (906-365-5505)
WW&W 2010 Winter Outdoor Calendar
Feb. 27, Chassell VFW 4th Annual Ice Fishing Tournament, Jesse Sohlden, 523-9089.
Feb. 26-28, Keweenaw Whitetails Predator Hunt, 289-4522
Feb. 26-28, Winter Becoming an Outdoors Woman, Big Bay, Sharon Pitz 906-228-6561, michigan.gov/bow
March 6, Copper Harbor Splake Ice Fishing Tournament, Don Kauppi, 289-4637, or toll-free 888-MA-NORTH.
Jim can be reached 24/7/365 at firstname.lastname@example.org.