Book Review -- A Hard-Water World

To the uninitiated, ice fishing seems improbable, wacky, and dangerous. But every winter, more than 2 million hardy northerners go to their place on the lake: literally on the lake. This book — A Hard-Water World: Ice Fishing and Why We Do It — looks at the “beauty, wonder, and insanity of ice fishing” through the lens of photographer Layne Kennedy and the words of author Greg Breining.

Hard-Water World (book cover).jpg

The writer and photographer traveled to frozen locales as far flung as Minnesota’s Boundary Waters and the Volga River near Moscow to profile icefishermen and -women in their frozen shanties with holes in the floor. The 136-page color book reveals the oddball world they found, from ephemeral ice cities and dark-house spearfishing shacks to bizarrely humorous northern winter festivals like the International Eelpout Festival on Leech Lake in Minnesota, which honors a slimy, potbellied, finny critter from the deep.

A Hard-Water World: Ice Fishing and Why We Do It
MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY PRESS, $24.95 (cover price) or $16.47 at Amazon: