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Chapter 116 – Ice hole

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The final batch of pigs before the New Year was sent to Bing City’s slaughterhouse. After sending the pork to the machinery company, the rest were sold in the district.

Feng Yu also got his results back. This time he had did better. He was in the 7th place of his class.  Liu Kun was in the 1st position as usual. His grades were forever the best. Surprisingly, Fat Chick was in the second place and Li Na in the third place.

The most frustrating part was that Wen Dongjun was in the 6th position! Damn, this idiot’s luck was good. He got the help of a 3rd year top student during the exams, and his weakest subjects became his best subjects. Even their form teacher did not believe their eyes.

After they gotten the results slips, Wen Dongjun kept bragging and even told his parents that he had studied very hard in school to get these results.

Wen Deguang was beaming with joy and even opened a bottle of Baijiu (Chinese White wine). His son had become promising.

The next morning, Feng Yu was still sleeping soundly in his bed when loud knocking woke him up.

“Stop sleeping. Didn’t we agree to go and dig ice holes today? Get up now. Let’s g, let’s go!” Wen Dongjun waved an iron rod with his right hand, and his left hand was behind his back. He was covered tightly in thick clothing, and his eyes were full of excitement.

“Brother Jun, it is only eight o’clock. It is still dark. Can’t we go in the afternoon?” Feng Yu said helplessly.

Wen Dongjun laughed: “Seems like I must use my special move!”

He sticks his left hand under Feng Yu’s blanket, and Feng Yu let out a cry loudly and flipped over the blanket. There was a snowball, the size of a fist on his bed.

Feng Yu grabbed the snowball and threw it on Wen Dongjun’s face. But Wen Dongjun doesn’t care and said: “Are you awake now? Get up now. I am ready!”

Feng Yu can only drag himself up and had breakfast. After packing his equipment, they loaded the fishing nets, iron rods and 2 buckets onto his second Land Rover before setting off.

Yesterday Feng Yu had suggested to ice fishing. He had wanted to ask Li Na along, but Li Na was not interested, and Liu Kun was not free. So, he was left with Wen Dongjun.

They both did not choose to go to the river. It was not easy to walk on the frozen river and, it was very dangerous. They decided to go to a pond, where they had previously gone before.

First, they need to use the shovel to clear the snow on the ice.

Wen Dongjun stretched his arms and started to break the ice with the iron rod. After hitting the ice a few times, he would clear the crushed ice, and Feng Yu would use the pickaxe to hit the same spot.

They both took turns hitting the same spot. After about 10 minutes, they took a break. The ice surface was very clear and a few more hits, they would break a hole. Wen Dongjun took the pickaxe from Feng Yu and hit the ice several more times. He eventually breaks a hole in the thick ice.

He switched to the iron rod and stabbed the hole a few more times, and the diameter of the hole became about 1 meter. He scoops out the small ice with the net, and they could see shadows of fishes.

In winter, ponds were frozen, and there was a lack of oxygen in the water. Once there was an ice hole, these fishes will swim towards it. It would be better if they were there at night. Fishes will jump out of the hole if they shine a touch light at the hole!

“1, 2, 3, lift!”

Wen Dongjun and Feng Yu held on to the wooden pole of the net and lifted it up together. Small fishes were jumping about in the net.

Feng Yu brought over a bucket for these fishes. Feng Yu was surprised when he saw that other than the normal Chinese sleeper and goldfish, there was 2 carp which were about 0.5 KG big. Their luck was not bad.

The drop the net into the hole again and shake it left and right. They then counted 1, 2, 3, and lifted the net together again.

The catch this time was not bad either. There were lesser small fishes, but there was a 1 KG big catfish.

There were only a few small fishes on the third time they lifted the net. This means that there were no big fishes around the ice hole. They need to dig another hole elsewhere.

“Here, you stay here and catch these small fishes. I will go over to the other side to dig a new ice hole. We will switch when I am tired.”

In the Northeast, especially Longjiang, once you dig an ice hole, you need to keep stirring the water. If not, the water will be frozen again in less than 10 minutes. Although the ice will not be thick, it was a hassle to break it again.

Feng Yu slowly scoop the small fishes with the net. There were lesser fishes. Every time he lifted the net, there were only a few tiny fishes. These small fishes were used to feed chickens and ducks. No one would eat these fishes.

Although this was past the time when fishes were abundant, it was not as bad as the future years. People only eat fishes that were at least 0.5 KG.

After a while, Wen Dongjun came over panting to switch with Feng Yu. Feng Yu went over to the new spot to continue digging a hole in the thick ice with the ice pick. He would change to the iron rod when he is tired. Before Feng Yu could break the ice, Wen Dongjun ran over.

“Let me do it. You are too slow. There are no more fishes over there. You had picked that spot. There were only 3 fishes that were over 0.5 KG. I will show you this spot I pick. Later when we lift the net, it will be filled with big fishes!” Wen Dongjun stabbed the ice with the iron rod while bragging.   

Feng Yu was immune to Wen Dongjun’s bragging now. He transferred the 3 big fishes to another bucket and carried the bucket of small fishes back to the Land Rover.

He poured the small fishes into a sack and walk back with the bucket.

Wen Dongjun had broken the ice surface and was scooping out the crushed ice from the water surface. When he saw Feng Yu walking slowly, he asked him to hurry. All the fishes will be gone by the time Feng Yu reach.

“1, 2, 3, lift! Hahaha, ~~~ what did I just say? I knew I will pick the best spot. Look. We only lifted the net once, and there are 4 big fishes in it. Each one of them is also bigger than your catfish. You must depend on me when it comes to picking the right spot for ice hole fishing. I have the experience and the luck!”

Feng Yu did not expect this ice hole to be so good. The second they lifted the net, there were 2 more big fishes. There must be a fish nest below the ice.

They lift the net 7 times. The first 5 times had big fishes but the final 2 times were all small fishes. Just the first 5 times of raising the net, they caught 11 big fishes. 2 fishes were at least 1.5 KG big. Wen Dongjun was bragging nonstop beside Feng Yu.

Feng Yu could endure when Wen Dongjun brags the first time, the second time, third time, …… tenth time, and Feng Yu could not take it anymore. He also wants to look for a right spot. If he could net a fish that was bigger than 2 KG, Wen Dongjun should keep quiet!

This time, it was Feng Yu’s turn to look for the next ice hole spot. Wen Dongjun carried the fishes back to the car.

Author’s notes: This was one of the happiest things when I was young. In the middle of the pond, you can scoop fishes, and near the edges, you will be able to scoop frogs. Throw everything together into a pot over a fire, and some Baijiu…

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