Throughout 2017, Minnesota Public Radio will celebrate 50 years on the air by sharing highlights from our archives, connecting Minnesota's past to its present. | This story, by MPR News reporter Leif Enger, originally aired Jan. 20, 1989
For Jay King and his wife, ice fishing is a game of cribbage, a thermos of coffee, and a long afternoon in their cabin-sized fish house on Lake Mille Lacs.
The Kings are sitting on the lower of two large bunk beds. At Jay's feet is a 10-inch round hole leading straight down through the ice. There's a red-and-white bobber in the hole, but no one's watching it: The Kings use rattle reels.
"When the fish pulls on the cord, it rattles. It lets you know that there's something down there," Jay King said.
This is new-fashioned ice fishing — the comfortable kind. The Kings' house has a gas stove, aluminum sink and a cupboard stocked with food. There's a port-a-potty shuttered away in the corner and a landscape oil painting hangs on the wall.
The Kings, who are retired, sometimes spend several days at a time here. No visitors, no phone calls. They like to eat walleyes, and Mille Lacs has them.