Journeys with Jim: Weather has not been great for ice fishing in state

Published on Wednesday, 2 January 2019 21:54
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My wife and I have sort of made it a tradition to journey up to Maine for New Year’s Day. We’ve made the trip for about the last five or six years.

Last year, we went to Lincoln, Maine, and stayed at a nice place called the Whitetail Inn.

I think the most incredible part of the trip was the temperature. We arrived on a cold Saturday afternoon and when we got up Sunday morning, the mercury had dipped to 17 below zero.

I remember that my truck wasn’t too enthused about starting up that morning. Err, err, err and then she finally fired up.

On Monday, New Year’s Day, the temps had warmed a bit as it was only minus 14 at 8 a.m. The truck started right up that day.

As it is sometimes with things, this year we weren’t able to go as our work schedules prevented us from traveling.

The weather sure has been a lot better though, as New Year’s Day saw temps in the 40s, despite the wind. The past weekend was actually pretty decent, a bit cold but not bad at all.

I finished up the 2018 bow hunting season with my good friend Brad. We spent the last few mornings hunting on private land in Coventry and on state land in the town of Sharon. We didn’t see any deer, but enjoyed our time afield none the less.

Traveling back home from our hunting trip on Monday afternoon, Brad and I chanced to pass by Tyler Lake in Goshen, located along Route 4.

The lake is usually well frozen over by early December and safe enough for ice fishing. Although there was quite a bit of ice on the lake, the shoreline was pretty open as far as I could see.

Some of the latest fishing reports that I’ve seen only mention good hard water conditions in the far north. Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire is frozen over with excellent fishing. With all the rain we’ve had this past year and if the trend continues, ice fishing here in Connecticut may be a no go for the winter.

In the marine district, many of the party boats are going strong when the weather permits. Catches of cod, ling and haddock have been good with some anglers still catching sea bass and scup.

2018 saw some tragic events in the outdoor world. Sadly, several people lost their lives in boating accidents on our state waterways.

Our state also saw a number of tornados this past year. The effects of these storms will have a lasting effect on the landscape. Several of our state parks are still closed as a result, namely Sleeping Giant in Hamden and Wharton Brook in Wallingford.

Kettletown State Park in Southbury is now open, but many of the trails remain closed due to tornado damage. As a side note, however, one of the annual First Day hikes that are held around the state on New Year’s Day was held at Kettletown. Hikers were able to view the tornado damage from the May storm.

No matter what your passion is, the outdoor world holds adventures for all. Happy New Year!

Posted in New Britain Herald, General Sports on Wednesday, 2 January 2019 21:54. Updated: Wednesday, 2 January 2019 21:56.