Deep Freeze

For one passionate group of Madisonians, the first freeze is cause for celebration. It means for the next ten or so weeks, the city’s lakes—and the structures they erect on them—become a place to gather and share food, stories and traditions. And maybe catch a fish or two. 

These images come from architectural photographer Mike Rebholz’s series 10 Weeks, referring to the roughly Christmastime-to-early-March stretch when ice fishing is possible on Madison-area lakes. When Rebholz began photographing the diverse and colorful ice shanties and their owners, he didn’t anticipate taking to the hobby. “I really fell in love with being out there,” he says. He appreciates the sense of camaraderie that’s built out on the ice. “Really, it’s about the community—though there is a certain thrill to catching a big fish.” While Rebholz has been documenting ice fishing for years, last winter he began conducting audio interviews with the fishers. He’s hoping all his material makes its way into a book.

Click here to read a Q&A with Rebholz. 

Find more about his work at

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