"Here!" Joe grabbed the line. Landolfi's patience is short lived, but he gets things done. The hook pulled.
"That was a big fish," Joe said.
It's the sort of spot not limited to pickerel and bass as State Park at least tends to be, besides perch and panfish. Could have been a walleye, channel cat, or even a musky.
Today I mostly looked forward to getting out, conversation, and having some moments of communion with the environment: all fulfilled. And of course I shot photos, 200 of them. But after our four hours or so were finished and Oliver had caught one yellow perch to show for our efforts, when two guys came walking to Dow's dock behind us and reported catching six pickerel, I felt the old familiar urge to actually catch fish come alive as waiting on our 10 tip-ups never did provoke.
Felt mild the first couple of hours, though never got above freezing.
Lake Hopatcong never freezes evenly. Great, thick sheets of ice collided here like little continents, heaving up ice to the left of this photo, and driving ice under here where I photographed the fissure with a very thin sheet over it.
Black ice is best. But this time a bust.