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Ice Fishing

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Ice fishing, or manaq”ing” in our native Yup’ik language, is something that people do mostly in the spring. It is done with a stick that has a string attached to it. At the end of the string is a hook. They place this hook in the water and let the hook down with the string. They let it down into a hole in the ice, these holes are usually made by ice augers or some people make a hole with an ice pick. Once the hook is down the hole, you hold the stick and jig. You do this until you feel a tug on the end of the string, and when you do feel the tug you pull up quickly. That happens when you catch a fish.

Manaq”ing” is a tradition of our culture. When I see it done, it usually involves more than one person at ice holes near each other. You can say it is a social activity. It is also done when people want to sit and enjoy the peace and quiet of outdoors, it is done because it is so much fun. Around St. Mary’s, the most common catch are Pike fish, which are usually dried or made into akutaq (Eskimo ice cream made with fish, berries, Crisco, and sugar).

Manaq”ing” is still a very strong tradition today; it is so strong in fact that the school takes students out every school year for the annual manaq”ing” trip. Manaq”ing” is enjoyed by everyone young and old.





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