Iron Saw with hardwood handle
did the Great Lakes spear fishermen break through
the thick winter ice so they could fish?
pierced holes through the thick ice (sometimes up to two feet in depth) with long punches called "punks"and then lowered long black
saws through the holes so they could create large openings to lower
their lures and spears.
Central Michigan, circa 1875, Length 35"
with the heavy wooden and metal spears the fishermen used, the Ice
Saws were best utilized by very strong men. The weight of the saws was
substantial and it sometimes required hours
of hard sawing to cut through
the ice to create a hole to retrieve fish which could be
over twenty inches
Ice sawing was a delicate art learned through experience.
small a hole could knock a fish off the spearhead when it was pulled
out of the water and holes which were too big quickly froze over again.
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