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Students make ice fishing sticks

Brodie Thomas
Northern News Services
Published Monday, April 28, 2008

PAULATUK - Georgina Wolki said she has gone ice fishing before, but never with a jiggling stick as fancy as the one she recently made at school.

Jiggling sticks are what most people use instead of a regular fishing pole when they go ice fishing. Usually, any old stick with a string and a lure will allow you to catch fish through a hole in the ice.

NNSL Photo/Graphic

Dave Abbot, left, explains how to safely use a lathe to Grade 11 student Tanya Ruben. Students at Angik school in Paulatuk were making jiggling sticks on the lathes. - photo courtesy of Stephanie Kinney

There is a traditional way of making them, but students in Paulatuk got to make their own fancy jiggling sticks on new wood-turning lathes the school bought last year.

Dave Abbot of Inuvik travelled to Paulatuk in order to help the students and teachers learn how to use the lathes.

"This was our first opportunity we had to use them with someone who is skilled with lathes, said teacher Stephanie Kinney. "One of his goals while he was here was to work with the teachers and to show them how to teach the lathe and what safety precautions to take," she said.

The school has an indoor tech shop, but they will soon be moving their equipment to a separate building outside of the school after the building is properly wired for electricity.

All students from Grade 5 and up were given the chance to create their own jiggling stick on the lathe.

"We started with two-by-twos," said Grade 12 student Stephanie Illasiak. "We just carved it down into a circle and then made a design."

"I just made a few bumps here and there to make it stand out from everyone else, like a table leg," said Illasiak.

After they turned their jiggling sticks on the lathe, students smoothed out any roughness in the wood with sandpaper. Some students painted pictures or designs on the sticks. Illasiak said she used a wood-burning machine to write her name on the stick.

"I also wrote 'Here fishy fish, c'mon fish,'" she said with a laugh.

Illasiak has not had time to go out fishing with her new jiggling stick to see if it is any good.

Wolki tried hers on the weekend after she made it.

"I didn't catch anything with it," she said.