Hardy ice fishing friends catch few

| 22 Feb 2012 | 07:58

If you can walk on water and feed the hungry with fishes you must be an ice fisherman. About 20 people with the urge to fish gathered on New Wawayanda Lake recently, despite temperatures that day in the low 20’s, to try to outwit brown trout and pickerel swimming beneath the ice. “The ice is about 10 to 12 inches thick. You could probably drive a truck out here if it was allowed,” said Morris Stern of New Milford. “Four inches of ice is the minimum to walk on and then it might be a little risky.” The sun was shining but a breeze made it feel even colder than 24 degrees. “Not bad out today. Once I was fishing in Vermont and it was 22 degrees below zero,” said Stern. Stern and his fishing partner, Dennis Sinfield of Highland Lakes, fish on the lake frequently during the summer but this was the first time they tried their luck during the winter. “The action is a little slow today. We only caught two so far, a brown trout and a pickerel,” said Sinfield. “Some people didn’t catch anything,” he said as he gestured toward several other groups of fishing enthusiasts scattered across the ice. Describing the collection of equipment nearby, Sinfield explained that “each person can actively fish with five devices.” Sinfield and Stern were using a mix of tip-ups and jigging poles. “I have a fly on the jigging pole and meal worms and minnows on the tip-ups,” said Sinfield. The two buddies were travelling light compared to some of the other groups. They had a small sled to carry their fishing gear, a gas-powered auger and folding stools. The more elaborate fishing expeditions were equipped with heated shelters in addition to the usual ice fishing gear. The day’s catch was only a few fish but for all the effort put into catching them, they must have made a tasty meal.