March 12, 2011 Sooley Cabin Ice Fishing: (17 Photos)
17. Its now the middle of March, a scant 2 months in since winter really got started here on the East Coast, and is seems like spring is here already. The weather has been warmer lately, but even on cold days the bright sun has really cut down the snow banks around town.
15. Saturday morning Maffer and his son Gavin, Sooley, Janes, French, and I headed to the Sooley Cabin near Whitbourne for a day of ice fishing and Spring riding on the sleds. We were happy to find that there was a consistent 12" if ice all over the pond, but the stress cracks in various places warned us spring was here.
13. Once we reached our ice fishing spot we set out a few lines and unloaded our supplies in our fire pit clearing just off the side of the pond.
12. While the guys fished, I quickly set out to reach my goal of burning a tank of gas in the sled. Under bright sunny skies and 5 degree temperatures I set out in search of snow, and I was surprised that there was still a fair bit if you knew where to look. The pole line was in good shape as the snow had been heavy this winter and protected by the shade of the tree line. The packed snow loosened by the warm spring sun provided lots of traction and great cooling for the sled. The open areas were pretty bare, you had to take your time watching for rocks, but overall conditions were decent.
11. Its a safe bet to presume that the ponds are not safe when riding in Springtime. Throughout the day I never stopped or slowed down when I crossed pond, if I found an area to play I checked the ice with an auger. It's easier to take the time to drill a hole and check the ice then it is to swim in icy water and try to rescue a sled!
10. About an hour into my ride French finally arrived with his sled and joined me on my ride. We spent a couple hours searching for snow, then terrorizing every inch, then moving to the next spot!
9. We even found a couple dandy areas for skipping water which is a skill we like to keep honed, plus its a lot of fun. We were surprised to find that traction on the ponds was amazing.
7. A small snow flurry the day before melted on the ice making a slushy 1" coating that just worked great.
6. For lunch we cooked up a mix of Bacon, onions, bologna, and beans, finished with a can of corned beef and a pot of coffee.
2. Later for supper we cleaned the pots and fried up some hamburgers and roasted hot dogs.
1. Throughout the afternoon we rode, found new snow, skipped water and had an awesome day. Most importantly we got to share what we enjoy with the next generation, represented by Gavin Burton. Gavin had a day learning how to set an ice fishing line, how to cook on a campfire, and enjoyed ride with his dad on snowmobile.
Hopefully the conditions hold up for another little while, there is snow in the forecast so there may be another ride or two left to this season yet.
Copyright © 2011 Michael Smith