Monday, February 9, 2015

Ice Fishing Great Cove Lake Hopatcong

Maureen and Jeff's first time ice fishing, we had a number of options. State Park lots make the lake very accessible for pickerel fishing on the six foot deep flats. Possibly, we could access River Styx, though parking is dicey there. In any event, we had to visit Laurie's shop for bait first, and I had Great Cove in mind. After Oliver and I were all but skunked in mid-January--Oliver caught a tip-up perch--we got word of a lot of pickerel caught back in the Cove. My son and I once ice fished the mouth of Great Cove in depths as great as 35 feet, hoping for a musky, but since I never had fished back in the relative shallows, I decided to go this way rather than around the bend in front of the Jefferson House, where word had it some nice pickerel were caught recently. I've never ice fished in front of the House per se, but have a few times in that area. I like to try different places.

I found I was short a couple of tip-ups, but after we got, I guess, 13 in place, we settled down to coffee, sandwiches, crab dip and conversation. I've never experienced such fog while ice fishing, and some sleet, rain and snow spattered on a very light breeze. Very mild at 34 degrees or so, I thought the temperature was just right for initiates, although hard core ice fishing challenges have had my son and I active at 0. Tough morning for a nine year old, but the photos I have don't lie. He enjoyed it.

I watched the tip-ups now and then. All was quiet and still. I knew, like on many outings, things can seem unyielding quite as if nothing will happen, until something does. Hanging out was enough, and if we caught nothing, the day would have been fulfilling.

And yet, had that flag never risen--and a second flag after sunset as we packed up, perhaps a missed hit, Jeff wasn't certain if a breeze kicked it--Maureen and Jeff never would have got that taste of childlike innocence in so humble an event as a fish on, certainty no one can deny, no one who has experienced.


  1. Replies
    1. It was nice...lovely, I'm not so sure. Maybe you're being ironic :) . A harsh edge out there that keeps the senses alert. I watched Grantchester last night & what really stuck in mind: "Harsh reality is better than false hopes." It's better to face those flags turned down against the tip-ups than to waste that absence of action on wishes. There's always on element of real hope if your strategy is any good.


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