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An interplanetary visitor circling the earth in a low-flying saucer and spotting this curious assortment of oblongs and rectangles might easily wonder, and justifiably so, what man was up to last week. As a matter of fact, earthlings may puzzle a bit, too. A few hints: the photograph was taken from an airplane circling some 200 feet above Lake Minnetonka in southern Minnesota, U.S.A. It is late in the afternoon and the temperature is around 15° below zero. Got it? Now for the answer and details, turn the page.


Ice fishing keeps on growing as one of the most popular winter sports of Minnesota, with close to half a million anglers working the state's frozen lakes last year. What you saw on the preceding page were some of the 3,000 fishing shacks that dot Lake Minnetonka, near Minneapolis. The shacks vary in size. Some hold as many as six (two fishermen, four bridge players), while smaller ones, known as "darkhouses," hold one or two. There are two recognized methods: you can dangle a line or lance the fish with a spear. Catches consist of pike, walleyes and even sunfish. Although most fishermen walk to their shacks, the ice is thick enough to hold a car. If you don't believe us, take another look at the aerial what-is-it.

Packing catch is Clint Nelson Jr., whose father owns one of lake's larger shacks.

Huddled in the warmth of their fishing shack after a long day of fishing are Mr. and Mrs. John Mohler. Their catch of walleyes lies frozen on the sled in foreground.

Gathering fish is Erv Kuschel, who rents ice fishing sheds and sells bait. Behind him is his handy snowmobile, which he uses to scurry about over the frozen lake.