Yellow Sunfish Ice Fishing Decoy

Description (Brief):

Carved wooden ice fishing decoy in the shape of a Yellow Sunfish made by the donor, Vern Coss, a spear fisherman from Minnesota.

Description (Brief)

Fish decoys are used in ice fishing in which a fisherman cuts a hole into the ice of a frozen lake, lowers the decoy into the hole on a string to attract the fish and then spears the fish when it comes to the surface of the water. While spearing fish is illegal in most states, some of the northern most states, such as Minnesota and Wisconsin allow this form of fishing to continue. Fish decoys are usually hand carved from a strong wood, such as white pine but which is still soft enough to carve. The fins are usually made from aluminum and an exact amount of molten lead, specific to each fish, is added for ballast to allow the decoy to sink but still maintain a horizontal float pattern. According to the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum, carved fish are one of the earliest forms of American folk art which traces the practice back to 1,000 A.D. when hunters in the Bering Sea first used small bone or ivory decoys for ice fishing

Date Made: 1995

Maker: Coss, VernCoss, Vern "Bub"

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: Minnesota, Spicer

Web Subject: SportsName Of Sport: Ice FishingLevel Of Sport: recreational


See more items in: Culture and the Arts: Sport and Leisure


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Vern Bub Coss

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1995.0360.01Catalog Number: 1995.0360.01Accession Number: 1995.0360

Object Name: decoy, ice fishing

Physical Description: wood (overall material)metal (hook material)plastic (eyes material)Measurements: overall: 11 cm x 8.5 cm x 20.3 cm; 4 11/32 in x 3 11/32 in x 8 in


Record Id: nmah_1176192

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