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Thread: Anybody Remember A Good Old Fashion Winter In NW PA?

  1. #1
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    Default Anybody Remember A Good Old Fashion Winter In NW PA?

    Back in the '70s we were always on the ice around Christmas. So much so my brother and I burned 25 gallons of Coleman fuel through a stove and a lantern in 1976 I believe. Yep we probably spilled as much as we burned but on an off day we only came home to sleep a few hours. Had some world record headaches in our ice shanty. Now I realize it was due to glare off the snow and a touch of carbon monoxide most likely. We fished Conneaut Lake, Wilhelm and the bay in Erie. Horse Shoe Pond was our hot spot for crappies and gills and early ice. Conneaut Lake was our primary spot because it was close to home. Between 3pm and dark it was nothing to catch a good mess of gills and closer to dark a half dozen or so slab crappies. Often drilled 20-24" of ice with an old gas auger that weight about 50 lbs. if it was your turn to carry it. The bay in Erie was so crowded you couldn't find a place to park in the first 3 lots if you didn't get there by first light. The walkers, joggers and bike riders didn't exist back then because it was COLD! If you wanted to tip-up fish Wilhelm was loaded with hammer handle pike and also a few nice ones. They kept you warm just running between flags. People were everywhere!

    Moral of my tale. Though we had plenty ice, in winter, there was seldom a time we didn't hit the canals by boat at Conneaut Lake by 3rd week in March and did very well on the crappie. Ice on CL never lasted till the 1st of April. Does it seem like these mild winters just prolong the real spring weather till June? Seems that way to me. I think we need a regular cold winter with fish-able ice so we can get that early spring.

    I don't ice fish anymore. All my buddies either quit or passed. But I am aching for an early spring, taking the boat out and getting some warm sun shine on my old carcass.

    I do hope you ice folks get a chance to fish more this year and be safe, eventually it will get warm....before June...I hope!
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  2. #2
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    yes i remember back in late 70's drilling holes on PI that where over 2ft thick , the auger would be 3/4 deep before breaking through, its been a long time since I've seen anything over 12, miss those days. smelt use to be so thick you could scoop them up through the hole, fishable ice [ min 5" ] was around for 2 1/2 months now we are lucky to get 2 1/2 weeks
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  3. #3
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    Enjoyed the write up guys, good job.
    Thanks mchech thanked you for this post

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaved ice View Post
    yes i remember back in late 70's drilling holes on PI that where over 2ft thick , the auger would be 3/4 deep before breaking through, its been a long time since I've seen anything over 12, miss those days. smelt use to be so thick you could scoop them up through the hole, fishable ice [ min 5" ] was around for 2 1/2 months now we are lucky to get 2 1/2 weeks
    Batter dipped and fried smelt. Now that was some good snapping. Presque Isle has to be the coldest place in PA. Always a 20 mph wind blowing through the trees sounded like a train running along the peninsula. That place was a panfish ice fisherman's heaven. Pick your favorite target perch, crappie or gills.
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  5. #5
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    I remember when you started ice fishing around Christmas and fished into March. I have drilled through 15 to 20in of ice. Those late winter days were very good days. The fillets piled right up. The fish bite was on a tear. I am really disappointed this year that it hasn't produced any safe ice. I'm starting to think spring fishing in the boat.

    Sent from my LML212VL using Crappie.com Fishing mobile app
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by patrapper View Post
    I remember when you started ice fishing around Christmas and fished into March. I have drilled through 15 to 20in of ice. Those late winter days were very good days. The fillets piled right up. The fish bite was on a tear. I am really disappointed this year that it hasn't produced any safe ice. I'm starting to think spring fishing in the boat.

    Sent from my LML212VL using Crappie.com Fishing mobile app
    That's one of the reasons I gave up ice fishing. I'd get all my gear ready just after deer season and wait watching the weather. Never got used more than often than used. Most of my gear is within 10' of the boat. Just need to grease the trailer bearings, check/change motor oil and lower unit oil and some fresh gasoline. But with my luck we will get just enough ice you can't walk on or boat fish.
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  7. #7
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    yeah thats what we got now not enough to walk on, sorry 3" isn't enough for me , have taken the polar plunge a couple of times when I was younger , dont plan on chancing it again, lucky two times you dont press the third ! and just thick enough to not melt faster to get the boat out. three weeks we will start stocking trout, spring is right around the corner and open water !
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  8. #8
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    It is almost a classic winter day today. Almost. It is refreshing blanket for the landscape.
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  9. #9
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    Nice write up, I’m a young buck and never got to experience being taken off of Presque isle via snowmobile as my grandparents and parents use to tell the story, but I sure wish I would have gotten into ice fishing. I have the equipment but I need someone that weighs 20 more lbs then me to go first. In the last 3 years I think I made it out 3-4 times. I’m sitting here now marking my calendar up with sick days for the spring bite. Spring can’t come soon enough.
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  10. #10
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    I remember them well. Not for ice fishing but the late flintlock season. We would leave to go to our cabin in McKean county Christmas night and there would always be snow and cold temps. We always saw people ice fishing and snowmobiling... we have had to adjust our hunting times to the last week of the season and hope we have snow and cold temps but the last couple of years we have had no snow and warm temps. This year it was 62 one day..Anybody Remember A  Good Old Fashion Winter In NW PA? I miss the snow and cold temps!


    Sent from my iPhone using Crappie.com
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