Friday, May 23, 2014

Made it to town, twice, but had to break ice

The scene at Hammel Narrows about 8 p.m. Friday evening
The ice was about five inches thick
Our helper Brad Donovan and I took a fishing boat to town today and had clear boating until we got to the Forestry stretch. There the ice still covered about two-thirds of the bay. We found open water on the inside of the islands on the south side of this very large bay and proceeded to the area called St. Paul's Bay Landing and then out to the Forestry Point. We had to break through about 50 yards of ice there and then made our way to Hammel Narrows where there was more ice but fortunately, we found a lead around the south side.
In town we picked up the Lickety Split which had been launched for us by Red Lake Marine. We also got six new outboards and two new boats plus a boatload of groceries that Brenda had ordered by telephone from Sobey's Supermarket. We started back about three hours later only to find the Hammel Narrows passage now contained about 100 yards of pretty firm ice. We broke through this with the Lickety Split. A boat I was towing ended up sliding right on top of the ice floes. Brad followed in the broken ice channel with one of the new 16-foot Lund SSVs.
We reached camp without incident but I had to return to town about four hours later in the Lickety Split. Again we had to break ice at Hammel Narrows. On the return trip with a load of gasoline, we had to break through ice again in the same spot.
Overall, however, the Forestry Stretch was about 70 per cent clear by evening.
The lake level is very high. Our dock in town is just about level with the lake instead of being a foot or two higher as is normal.
Today was a spectacular 26 C or 80 F!
Fishing was great. Besides northern pike, quite a few lake trout have now been caught and even some whitefish. Walleyes have been scarce so far. I think we have caught two or three.
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