At the time, my family owned about eight hundred acres worth of farmland in the southeastern edge of Illinois.
Since then the land has been divided up and sold off in parcels, but at the time it was a huge swath of corn and soybeans. About two miles away from the farmhouse, through a long and winding trail through the crops, was a small pond. During the summers we could fish or go swimming, and in the winter we could set up the rickety old shack and go ice fishing. In this part of Illinois, ice fishing was an annual event. We even had neighbors from other farms who came over to go ice fishing in our pond. If you have never experienced an Illinois winter, then consider yourself lucky. There were times when the snow was so thick on the ground, piled up six feet high, and we couldn’t even make it to the frozen pond! But when we could, it was an amazing time! Ice fishing in Illinois is one of the best memories I have of being a teenager. We would smuggle out a few cases of beer, and a few ounces of locally grown Illinois cannabis, and spend a few days in the fishing shack on the pond. If we caught any fish we would usually cook them up and eat them on the spot, because we had consumed too much beer and cannabis to safely get ourselves back home. Although it’s best to avoid winter in Illinois, I highly recommend trying out ice fishing there.