Friday, December 17, 2010 - 2:15pm

Longtime ice angler spends his 101st birthday doing what he loves.

A day spent fishing, the old saying goes, is a day not subtracted from a man's life.

As he snowmobiled out onto Golden Valley, Minnesota's frozen Sweeney Lake on his 101st birthday, Kermit Wick seemed determined to prove the old saying true.

"This is the greatest sport that ever was, I'll tell you," said Wick as he sat on the sled clutching an ice fishing pole. "I was fishing since I was four years old."

"Compulsive fisherman," is the term Geri Nelson uses to describe her dad. "When we had company for Sunday dinner, we'd finish the dessert and he'd say, 'Well, I have an appointment with a crappie."

Surrounded by family and friends, Wick was determined to bring home dinner.

For most of his life, Wick lived a couple hundred feed from Sweeney Lake and spent every available hour fishing it.

Just months ago Wick pushed his walker out to the lake and pulled in a trophy bass.

"He caught a 20 inch large mouth off the dock out here, this summer," boasts his son Chuck.

Wick still felt a draw to the lake, even as his eyesight failed.

"Even though he can't see, he can feel that fish on and that's what's important," explained Nelson.

So no need to explain what Wick wanted most for his 101st birthday.

"I hope I can catch one fish," he said.

When Wick's pole suddenly bowed a few minutes into his adventure, it looked like everything was falling into place.

A bass came halfway though the hole - so big it barely fit.

But in a snap, it was gone.

"Oh no," said the onlookers in unison.

"Could I see the fish?" asked Wick.

"No it broke the line dad," his daughter explained.

"Maybe we'll catch another one," Wick answered hopefully.

Still, Wick worried that the others - particularly the women - might be getting cold.

"Just leave me here," he said as his family shared a laugh.

One birthday fish didn't seem like too much to ask of his favorite lake.

And as it turned out, it wasn't.

"There's one," shouted a relative.

"Yeah!" they all cheered as another large bass came though the hole - this time all the way onto the ice.

"That's a very good eating fish right there," beamed Wick.

How fitting on his birthday, that Kermit Wick should school his family in fishing 101.

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