Plenty of ice, but not plenty of ice anglers were willing to leave their warm homes to venture out in these below-freezing days.
But there was one.
Charles Wolfe of Schenectady was very glad he did, and was rewarded with quite a trophy, a 39-inch northern pike that tipped the scales at 15 pounds.
What really makes this fish a trophy is where it was caught — in Central Park’s Iroquois Lake. This little 7.2-acre lake, according to the Department of Environmantal Conservation description, has common carp, brown bullhead, panfish, smallmouth and largemouth bass. It looks like someone has introduced a few new species to the lake.
Charles was fishing with his son, Brian, and two grandchildren, Lexi and Nick. When the first flag went off, Charles knew he had a good one as it ripped off about 35 yards of line before he could stop it. He said he’d taken up about half the line in when it went slack and he thought he lost it, but the fish took off again and finally, Charles was able to squeeze the pike through the seven-inch hole in the ice.
Later that day, his granddaughter hooked up with and landed a 27-inch pike. When the day was over, they had caught 17 sunfish, an 11-inch crappie and a pickerel over five pounds — another trophy.
Readers might remember Charles Wolfe’s name because in the summer of 2010, he also caught a 31-inch channel catfish that weighed 13 pounds, 11 ounces and won the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s annual Angler Award in the catfish category. I hope he submits both the pike and pickerel for these awards.
The 16th annual Fuel-N-Food Weekend-Long Icefishing Contest attracted quite a few ice anglers at the Great Sacandaga Lake, all hoping to get a piece of the more than $4,000 cash that would be divided among six species categories. The tournament began at 4 p.m. Friday and ended at 4 p.m. Sunday. The winning catches again showed the quality of this lake’s fish populations. The winners were determined by the fish’s length.
The walleye category winners were Karen Mault, 26 15/16 inches; John Webber, 26 9/16; Rich Schroeder; 263⁄8; Kris Reed, 24-0 11/16; and Greg Warner, 221⁄2. They received $600, $400, $200, $100 and $50, respectively.
The northern pike category winners were Jay Flickinger, 46 7/16 inches; Craig Jones, 431⁄4; Corey Berlin, 413⁄4; Thomas Sterner, 393⁄4; Jerry Morris, 39; and Dick Sarsick, 383⁄4. They received $500, $300, $200, $100, $50 and $25, respectively. Great Sacandaga Lake continues to uphold its “Big Pike” reputation.
The trout category winners were Bob Bailey, 201⁄2 inches; Jim Jasewicz, 201⁄4; Douglas Brooks, 19; Alfio Coco, 183⁄4; Brian Melios, 183⁄4; and Jeremy Lawrence, 163⁄4. They received $300, $200, $100, $75, $50 and $25, respectively.
Winners in the perch category were Bowen Wagner, 141⁄2 inches; Dick Sarsick, 141⁄4; Luke Olsen, 141⁄4; Jeremy Lawrence, 137⁄8; and Jim Loose, 137⁄8. There was a four-way tie for sixth. Jim Manzer, Pete Chupka, Brent Muhlberger and Martin Rebiszeach had 133⁄4 inches. They received $200, $150, $100, $75, $50 and $25, respectively.
There were also two non-game awards: Tom Sisco Jr. received $50 for his 137⁄8-inch mud puppy, and Christy Bates-Mooney’s nine-inch rock bass earned her $100.
Earlier that week Jack Douglas of Galway braved the minus-zero weather and fished the Great Sacandaga, where he pulled in a 36-inch pike on a tipup with live bait in the area around Broadalbin.
All the other reports I received from the bait and tackle shops are the same, little if any, ice fishing activity. Two flag watchers were spotted off the shore near Fitch Road on Saratoga Lake, and a few others around Manning’s Cove. This is an area that almost daily during the ice fishing season attracts several dozen anglers. Even the panfish area around the state launch has been vacant. But I don’t think it’s over. If we get a warmup period this weekend, one might find some anglers cutting holes.
Don’t forget, all ice shanties must be removed to solid land by Saturday to prevent them from falling through the ice when it melts and becoming a navigation hazard.
I know from bitter experience what a shanty left on the ice to sink can do to a $250 prop and lower unit of an outboard.
Almost a record
John Grubenhoff of Pasco, Wash., was fishing Feb. 28 in the McNary Pool of the Columbia River when he hooked up with what was to become the new record walleye catch of the state. He was trolling upstream in 22 feet of water at .8 mph
using a Rapala J-13, six feet behind a two-ounce bottom-walker weight. His record trophy measured 35.50 inches, had a 22.75-inch girth and tipped the scales at 20.32 pounds.
The previous Washington state record was a 33.7-inch, 19.3-pounder. Grubenhoff was criticized for keeping the egg-laden female, but I don’t know if I could have released the “eye” of a lifetime. The New York record walleye is 16 pounds, nine ounces that measured 34 inches and was caught in Mystic Lake.
In the soft salty water news, I caught my biggest sea trout ever last Saturday in Flagler Beach, Fla. I was pitching a four-inch shrimp to one of the 45 docks on the Atlantic Intercoastal Waterway where we are staying. The trout slammed the shrimp and immediately took off around two dock posts covered with sharp barnacles.
Fortunately, the 50-pound-test braided line I was using enabled me to pull it around the posts and bring it up onto the dock. The fish measured just over 25 inches and weighed more than five pounds. It made a very tasty dinner for two that evening.
Remington recently announced it has purchased the former Chrysler building in Huntsville, Ala., and will expand it to 500,000 square feet. When completed, it will create 2,000 new jobs in the next 10 years and reflects a statewide capital investment of $110 million.
George Kollitides, Remington’s chairman and CEO, said, “This additional capacity is essential to fulfill demands and introduce new products. Remington began considering new locations when New York introduced the Safe Act. The passage of the act also started “come to our state” offers from more than a dozen states. Texas was one of these states, and their attorney general, Greg Abbott, ran an internet ad in Manhattan and Albany encouraging gun owners to move to Texas.
It has been said that the 1,300 jobs in the Ilion Remington plant, which have been there since 1816, will not be leaving, but the 2,000 new ones won’t be coming to New York, either. Neither will the $110 million.
The Northeast Coast Arms Collectors Associates will hold an Arms Fair at the Saratoga Springs City Center this weekend.
New, antique, collector and investment firearms, swords and knives, military items, books, traps, gun parts, old and new ammo and all types of hunting/shooting accessories will be on display and for sale.
Admission prices are adults, $8; seniors, $7. Children younger than 14 with a paying adult are free. Show times are: Saturday, 9 a.m.-5p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. For more information or display tables, call 664-9743 or go to www.neaca.com.