It is a solitary sport with reasonable expectations. Water with a frozen surface, a fishing rod, and some bait are all you really need. Oh, and some fish make the experience that much better.
"(I'm) thinking about how to catch this fish, a lot of times. But, you think about your life. You think about what's going on at home," said Ben Ekrem.
The 52-year-old Ekrem has been fishing since he was eight. And, he isn't a casual ice fisher, if you know what I mean.
"Every weekend. And, if E can sneak away during the week if I don't have anything going on I'll probably try and sneak out then too," said Ekrem.
The Sioux Falls native has fishing licenses for five different states, but he says South Dakota is a fisherman's delight.
"It's one of the best. It's one of the best. We have a lot of people from Iowa and Minnesota that come here as a destination to fish both as summer and winter," said Ekrem. "It's like paradise here."
One little gem of a spot is called Family Park at the corner of 12th Street and Tea Ellis Road in west Sioux Falls. It used to be a gravel pit, and because of that there are lots of nooks and crannies the fish like to swim around in.
Catching the big one, or little one is a thrill Ekrem doesn't take for granted.
A diabetic for much of his life, Ekrem experienced complete kidney failure three years ago. He was fortunate to receive a kidney transplant a year and a half later. Then three months ago, he received a pancreas transplant.
"Basically, I'm as healthy as I'm ever going to be. I have a new pancreas and a new kidney. Life is really good. I feel like I felt 20 years ago only better."
During his recovery Ekrem stuck with one of his life's constants.
"Some things you can do without and some things you can't. I can't do without ice fishing in the winter," said Ekrem.
So, each weekend ben does what he does best.
"We're going to put this one back in and let someone else catch it that enjoys catching fish," said Ekrem.
Paying it forward for future ice fishers who appreciate the thrill of the bite and the love of a solitary sport.
Thursday, February 20 2014 7:42 PM EST2014-02-21 00:42:09 GMT
Behind the glory of football there are the scars and bruises. Some visible, some not. We still have much to learn about the health risk football puts on it's players, but some of the biggest strides inMore >>
Behind the glory of football there are the scars and bruises, some visible, some not. We still have much to learn about the health risk football puts on it's players, but some of the biggest strides in research are happening on South Dakota's fields.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 6:54 PM EST2014-03-08 23:54:51 GMT
The three Americans on board the Malaysia Airlines flight that went missing in Southeast Asia have been identified and include two young children, according to the flight's manifest. ABC News reportsMore >>
Malaysia Airlines previously reported that one of the Americans on board the flight was an infant.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 6:46 PM EST2014-03-08 23:46:53 GMT
Chances are, those security breaches that affected major retailers are still fresh on our minds. Now, consumers and companies are coming up with new ways to protect themselves online. A cybersecurityMore >>
The cybersecurity event DakotaCon is happening this weekend. It's a real world exercise. Each college team or "IT team" goes in and secures a network from outside use. A group of "hackers" are on hand trying to break the team's security breach.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 6:25 PM EST2014-03-08 23:25:34 GMT
Despite a warm-up on the way in our forecast, taking a dip into water outside may be the last thing on our minds. In Huron, Saturday, if it was for a good cause, it was hard to say no. More than 200More >>
Brave souls plunged into icy cold water in Huron, Saturday, for a good cause. More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 11:06 AM EST2014-03-08 16:06:58 GMT
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Vietnamese air force planes on Saturday spotted two large oil slicks close to where a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 went missing earlier in the day, the first sign that theMore >>
There was no confirmation that the slicks were related to the missing plane, but the statement said they were consistent with the kinds that would be produced by the two fuel tanks of a crashed jetliner.More >>
Friday, March 7 2014 11:09 PM EST2014-03-08 04:09:14 GMT
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - Search and rescue teams are looking for a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet with 239 people aboard - including three adult Americans and one infant. The airline says it lostMore >>
Malaysia Airlines says the plane was carrying 227 passengers, including two infants, and 12 crew members.More >>
Friday, March 7 2014 10:31 PM EST2014-03-08 03:31:23 GMT
Six weeks after arson shuttered the Co-op Natural Foods Store, shelves are stocked and customers are coming through the doors once again. And it's not just the food they're excited about. "The thingMore >>
Six weeks after arson shuttered the Co-op Natural Foods Store, shelves are stocked and customers are coming through the doors once again.More >>
Friday, March 7 2014 9:19 PM EST2014-03-08 02:19:54 GMT
A Yankton man was found dead in a mobile home, Friday morning and Police are calling it a homicide. It happened on the 1100 block of E. 8th Street near Peninah Street. That's on the southeast part ofMore >>
Authorities say a Yankton man has been charged with second-degree homicide as murder in connection with his uncle's death.More >>