Depending on where you live, spring is still pretty far from view. While most of us are pining for the moment we can spend time outdoors, others are seizing the day. All over the Northeast, Midwest, and Northwest, fishermen are soaking in the joy of casting their rods into frigid waters, hoping for that next big bite.
Winter fishing is an experience unlike any fishing you can do in the summertime. Not necessarily better—just different and special in its own way. Coffee too is special for fishermen braving the cold. From frozen shorelines to tiny ice-fishing shacks to boats big or small, you’ll find thermoses filled with brew to fuel the day.
At Coletti, we love to celebrate the great outdoors and all who revel in its glory all year long. We recently caught up with an angler who reflects the Coletti spirit of simplicity. Eric Madia is a West Virginia native, armed forces veteran, avid outdoorsman, and pastor who takes a back-to-basics approach to fishing, coffee, and life in general.
CC: What’s the draw of winter fishing compared to spring or summer?
EM: There is more of an opportunity to fish alone. Many anglers wait until the weather is perfect. I think the winter weather is already perfect.
CC: Is fishing a social or solitary sport?
EM: Most of the time I prefer to have company. Normally I go with my wife, Lauren and my daughter Grace. There are those times when solitude is very refreshing for the soul.
CC: Speaking of the soul—do you see a connection between your time in nature and your relationship with God?
EM: The world around us is loud. Spiritually speaking the world is downright deafening. Being in nature is a quieting time where the Spirit of God is much easier to hear.
CC: How long have you been drinking coffee? What’s your earliest memory of it?
EM: I’ve been drinking coffee for 29 years. I started when I was 13. I asked my mom if I could have a cup of coffee. She wanted me to hate it, so she gave me black coffee. Instead I loved it and have drunk it black ever since.
CC: How do you prepare your coffee? Do you bring it along while fishing?
EM: Preparations for coffee depend on the circumstances. If I’m staying overnight, I bring my steel percolator and make my coffee over an open fire. If it’s a day trip, I prepare coffee at home and pour it into a thermos. I’m a coffee junkie. I drink several cups prior to a fishing trip, during the drive to the fishing area, and while fishing.
CC: Any funny fishing stories?
EM: One time I went fishing with my step uncle, Junior (Rest his soul). He was also a coffee junkie. We fished for two solid hours without a bite. It was early March and VERY cold. I heard Junior say out loud “No way!” I thought he had missed a bite. Actually something worse happened: He ran out of coffee. Junior looked over at me and said “When the coffee’s gone, the fishin’ is over.” We packed up and left.
Do you have a funny fishing story? Share it with us in the comments below!
Danielle Costello is a freelance writer and editor with a special interest in great coffee. After spending a few decades exploring life in bigger cities, Danielle now resides in Morgantown, West Virginia. A mom of two young boys, exercise enthusiast, and dog-rescue advocate, she spends her free time making healthy meals and savoring disrupted sleep.