Leo and the Lab – (published by the Military Writer’s Society of America; MWSA)



Fishing is not always about catching fish; sometimes it’s about catching a break from reality. – Author Unknown



Joe’s fishing buddy Tommy, out on the hard water.


Many years ago, my co-worker and friend, Leo B., shared this story about an ice fishing adventure he had with his son.


Leo, a talented machinery designer, was also a rabid outdoor enthusiast; be it hunting, fishing, or trapping. Leo also had a fondness for Stroh’s beer, which fueled many of his outdoor adventures.  😉


As the story goes, it seems that Leo and his son had gone ice fishing on one of the local lakes in the area where they lived. Like many other ice anglers, Leo had a permanent wooden shack on this particular lake. Over the course of the winter, Leo had enlarged the size of the hole in his shack. This provided a greater fishing area, and easier access when hauling in any larger fish he might encounter. This is a common practice among permanent shack owners on many lakes.


Unbeknownst to Leo, on this particular day, a shack very close to his was also in use by it’s owner, and this fisherman had his Labrador retriever pup along with him. Leo was fishing inside his shack, enjoying a few suds, and jigging for panfish. His son was tending a few holes outside the shack rigged with tip-ups, in hopes of getting into some nice Northern Pike, Bass, or Walleye.


After having caught a small panfish, the fisherman in the shack next to Leo’s tossed it back into the hole. Labrador Retrievers…being Labrador retrievers…the young pup quickly jumped into the hole after the fish.


Though startled, the dog’s owner was powerless to stop him, as the dog pursued the fish underwater. And low and behold, instead of making it’s way back to the hole it had entered, the pup now found itself under Leo’s shack.


Our unwitting Leo was having a nice day on the ice, until this large black animal emerged from the hole in his shack. Half stunned out of his mind, Leo lunged for the shack door, smashing it open as he tried to make his getaway. The soaking wet, half crazed lab, ran out the open door, trampling poor Leo in the process.


Meanwhile, the dog’s owner emerged from his shack, just in time to see his puppy, out of it’s wits, racing across the ice. Leo’s son, taking all this in, just stood with jaw agape.


Joe and young cousins, enjoying a day on the ice.

Leo’s tale soon spread far and wide, and is often told whenever hard water anglers gather in that neck of the woods; especially when various refreshments are served.  😉

Leo passed away some years ago, but the story lives on in ice fishing folklore.






You are welcome to share this article in it’s entirety, citing Joe as the author. Copyright protected, all rights reserved © Joe Campolo Jr

About the Author

Joe Campolo Jr.

Joe Campolo, Jr. is an award winning author, poet and public speaker. A Vietnam War Veteran, Joe writes and speaks about the war and many other topics. See the "Author Page" of this website for more information on Joe. Guest writers on Joe's blogs will have a short bio with each article. Select blogs by category and enjoy the many other articles available here. Joe's popular books are available thru Amazon, this website, and many other on-line book stores.


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