BBC World Service

Cold temperatures in Europe mean better ice fishing

Marketplace Staff Feb 14, 2012

Adriene Hill: This winter has been warm here in the U.S. But Europe has been unusually cold. People are staying inside. And the chill is dragging down the economy — already in trouble from the debt crisis. But the freezing temperatures haven’t been all bad.

The BBC’s Rayhan Demtrie checked out the ice fishing world championships in Kazakhstan.

Rayhan Demtrie: A small rocket signals the start of the tournament and dozens of participants spread out across the lake to begin drilling holes through the ice. They drop bait into the holes they make in the ice, and wait. Remember, it’s below freezing here, so competitors are equipped with extra special winter gear to keep warm on the ice bed.

Sean Warner from team USA explains what inspires people like him to sit for hours on a frozen lake.

Sean Warner: All fishermen are somewhat addicts but ice fisherman are real fanatics because they have to do so much under adverse temperatures. We like to call it the extreme sports version of fishing.

Competitor Set Poponni was having little luck, and when approached by this reporter, let out some frustrations.

Demtrie: Which country are you from?

Set Poponni: I’m ashamed to say I’m from Finland.

Demtrie: Why?

Poponni: Because of no fish!

The team with the largest catch wins. The U.S. were defending champions but this year caught just over four pounds of fish, giving them in a distant ninth place finish. Belarus won with 17 pounds. So it looks like — in ice fishing at least — the Belarussians are winning this cold war.

In Kazakhstan, I’m the BBC’s Rayhan Demytrie for Marketplace.

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