|Details:||For a week, following a 2-3 day cold snap, I started seriously testing ice everyday In hopes of finally setting some tip-ups and jigging through ice. After some weird weather and a couple of snow falls I was able to make the decision to fish Lake Pocotopaug Sunday morning. There was 3" of hard, mostly clear ice underneath 6" of light snow.
Before going to bed Saturday night, I packed the car (for a 70yrd excursion) with plenty of gear including 9 tip-ups, 3 jigging rods, 1 box of tackle, 1 ice pick, 1 drilled-up kitchen spoon, 1 can of spikes, 24 shiners, 1 beer koozy, 1 pair of ice spikes, 50ft of anchor line, 1 flask of scotch, 6 beers, 1 snow shovel, and 1 folding stool. I set the alarm for 6:15am.
Sunday morning I was up quick and prepared a breakfast. I gave the wife a peck on the cheek and told a small fib about the 4-5" of ice on the lake as I was putting on some layers. I checked the temperature as I left the house-- 14F.
I stepped onto the ice at 7:00am. It was still and quiet and the sun was just beginning to hit the west banks of the lake. I was still in shade. I shoveled 6 areas for tip-ups and had everything baited and set by 7:30. I was fishing in 5-12 feet of water; a nice range for anything on that lake, although I would be surprised to get a Walleye for the location and time. But not unheard of. I took a small swig of scotch and then sat down on my stool with a spectacular view of my trap array and the lake. Cold and quiet. Around 8:15 I listened to a car try and get up the drive way. I heard the car door open and an explitive said. Cold and quiet. I was getting into what I believe is a big bite for the lake: 8:30-10ish. The bite went by without a single flag and I was shocked. Such is life I guess. Around 10 some friends showed up and within an hour there was a huge area covered with tip-ups; not a single flag.
At noon I tied a rope round my waste and headed for deep water with a friend in tow. I didn't know what kind of ice was over the 30ft of water we were walking towards and it turned out to be 2 inches. No guts, no glory and I stabbed the ice with the pick. No problems. We jigged this water for White perch for another 1/2 hour and we pulled up 1 White perch. While we were doing this, "tsavfish" got a flag, 1 Yellow perch. And that was the total for the day: 2 small fish. I headed back to the house before anyone else and got comfortable for championship football. Everyone made it off the ice by the end of the first quarter and we were deep in whiskey, beer, and food by half-time. Some serious, important matters were brought up regarding Loch Willoughby and Lake char before the game's end. I guess we'll watch the weather.