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Iron Range angler forgets to unhook fish house from snowmobile, takes off with buddy inside

Seth Trobec, of Coleraine, said he wasn't hurt when he jumped out of the fast-moving fish house.

Seth Trobec jumps out the bottom of a moving portable ice house
Seth Trobec jumps out the bottom of a moving portable ice house in this screenshot taken from a YouTube video. Trobec's friend did not realize he was towing the house behind his snowmobile.
Contributed / Seth Trobec
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DULUTH — An Iron Range ice angler miraculously avoided any injury after jumping out of a fast-moving ice house being towed behind his buddy’s snowmobile.

The incident happened on Valentine’s Day on Canisteo Mine Pit Lake near Coleraine, home of anglers Seth Trobec and Cody Mjolsnes.

Trobec had set up a video camera inside the pull-behind, portable ice shanty and was ready to start fishing. Meanwhile Mjolsnes hopped on his snowmobile to go back to shore and pick up a third angler.

But Mjolsnes forgot that the snowmobile was still hooked up to the ice shanty.

“I was thinking how I don’t normally get to ride my snowmobile unless it's towing an ice house, so I was going to have some fun and really get it going,” Mjolsnes told the News Tribune.

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Trobec said he immediately worried about his expensive fish finder and a heater that had been left behind where the ice holes were. That’s why he decided to bail out, at a pretty high rate of speed, after riding in the ice house for about 50 yards.

“I figured I should get out of there,” Trobec said.

All of it is captured on video.

Trobec, a forester in his day job, is an amateur videographer, storm chaser, northern-lights photographer and avid angler who started a YouTube page called “Get In There Outdoors.” The Valentine’s Day mishap on the page is called "Lake Trout Fishing Gone Wrong" and has now been viewed more than 524,000 times. You can watch Trobec make his jump and hear him scream as he does.

Mjolsnes drove the snowmobile another 200 yards toward shore before finally realizing what was happening.

Not only was Trobec not seriously hurt, but the only damage was a broken fishing line on one rod and a lost lure.

“Nothing broke. The depth finder was fine. The heater was still running when I got back to the holes,” Trobec said. “When he took off so fast, the ice house just popped up on top of the snow.”

Trobec said the deep snow on the ice likely cushioned the blow when he jumped.

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“It was a brain fart by Cody,” Trobec said.

“Guilty as charged,” Mjolsnes added.

“But, really, the hitch was buried in the deep snow and he just didn’t see it,” Trobec noted.

The pair eventually retrieved their buddy on shore, went back out to the holes they had drilled and, of course, kept fishing.

“We didn’t catch any trout on that trip,” Trobec said. “But we had something to talk about while we were sitting out there.”

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John Myers reports on the outdoors, natural resources and the environment for the Duluth News Tribune. You can reach him at jmyers@duluthnews.com.
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