Terry’s Take: If you can’t beat em, join em!
Jed Clampett of the Beverly Hillbillies was a millionaire and a pretty smart guy. He frequently said, if you can’t beat em, join em. Some people up near Fargo, ND. took his advice and are “taking it to winter”. I’m talking about Hill-billies Ice Hole Bar located on the ice of a frozen lake near Fargo. It’s only open on weekends and when the ice is thick enough, but it’s a big hit! More on that in a minute.
For those who don’t know, fishing in the north woods of the upper Midwest is a popular hobby. It’s also a well known fact that many fishermen like to sample the nectar of the gods when dropping a line. (A shot a day keeps the doctor away)? Instead of missing out on 5 months of fishing when the winter winds blow, the locals build ice shanty’s to fish in. These can be elaborate or nothing much more than wind breakers. However, this time of year the lakes are loaded with shanty’s and cold or not, fishermen!
So now we’ve established the fact there are people, ice, fish, and the desire for some to consume adult beverages. If you are an entrepreneur what do you do? Well, you build a temporary bar on the ice. That brings me full circle to Hill-billies Ice Hole Bar. It’s become a popular attraction serving warm food, tasty beverages of all kinds, and good conversation.
If your out on the lake enjoying the 20 below day and your thirst needs quenching, you can hop on the snowmobile and head straight to Hill-billies. If the mood strikes, you can even grab a rod and start jigging for a lunker while in the bar. The owners drill fresh holes everyday and keep them properly maintained. This is remarkable as you can now eat, enjoy a beverage of your choice, ice fish, and be served in the comfort of a bar. There is even a porta potty! My goodess, is that America or what!
I gotta tell you, lows around the upper Midwest will be running 20-30 below in the next week with a ridiculous north wind. The magnitude of the cold around Fargo will blow your mind compared to what most of us ever experience. Even so, the people up north are warm, the fish are big, and places like Hill-billies make winter go a little faster. If I could, I’d grab a stool, drop a jig, and hang out for an afternoon. Woo doggies Jed, I bet the stories are even bigger than the fish! Roll weather…TS