If you have ever ice fished in Minnesota, there is one thing that you should just always expect, and that is the unexpected. Spending a little time with a couple of my girlfriends recently, we got on the topic of ice fishing. (Can you tell we are from the Minnesota area?)

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All of us have done our fair share of ice fishing, though I have not done it for a little while now. Despite that, it's still fun now and again to get in the ice house, put in a line and sit back with a drink and wait to see if you get a bite.

Some days you get lucky and the fish begin rolling in. Other days it's slow and you don't even get a nibble. Granted, state of the art equipment can help with trying to see what is underneath the ice, but even then you might get a surprise you weren't expecting. Which is exactly what my bestie from college started explaining to me when she showed me a video on Instagram of a couple people ice fishing recently by Bemidji in Minnesota at lake Plantagenet and they got a little surprise in their ice fishing hole.

Imagine you're wishing and waiting for the big one, when up pops this:

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My sentiments would have been pretty similar to what she says, I too would have about lost my mind if a muskrat all of a sudden swam up the hole. I really would have lost it, had it jumped out of the hole, but I am sure she was relieved when it just looked and then turned right around and swam away.

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If you wondered like I did on whether or not muskrat's hibernate, the answer is no they do not. The Minnesota DNR shares a fun fact on their site, stating,

Unlike the beaver, the muskrat does not store food for the winter. It needs to eat fresh plants each day, and sometimes it makes channels in the mud to get from its house to reach food under the ice.

I'm quite certain the little guy was scrounging for food and chances are he maybe needed to get up out of the water for a moment. Although, another fun fact muskrats can stay underwater 12-17 minutes at a time. Anyone else feel they learned a lot about these critters today? Yeah, me too. But now we also know, not just fish can surprise us when we ice fish here in Minnesota.

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