ICE FISHING 101
Phippsburg celebrated February by staging its annual Fishing Derby on February 13th. It turned out to be a delightful day and attracted many fishermen. There were all kinds of vehicles on Center Pond which was a testament to the thickness of the ice and cold weather. Huts of various kinds were set up to provide temporary comfort as the fishlines were baited and set up for catches. I ventured out midway in the day, walking out on the ice with cleats and a ski pole. The ice had tracks of ATV's and snowmobiles and wasn't slippery. The crusty snow also made the hiking on ice somewhat safer. I was lucky to see some catches that had been made, including on Pickerel caught by this young man. The fish was still alive, but has to be dead before taking it in for measurement. Prizes are given for the largest fish catches. I thought this was a sure winner but learned later it missed by a few ounces. He also caught a large Trout. Here is another picture of the activity.

You see a pickup truck in the background, one of many on the pond. You can also get a glimpse of the drill used for making the holes, and the device used to catch the fish. It must not have been too cold since their hands are bare for the baiting of the hook!

OK, on to other things in life......The full moon has meant extremely low tides so if you know me, I was out taking advantage of the opportunity to find sea life, even in the winter. I hiked into Totman Cove and scouted around for all that I could find, alive or dead. Here is what I found: Those Green Crabs are alive. I dug them out of the sand where they had left a crack to indicate their presence. There were several live Sanddollars; there is one in the ring of shells. I found no live Moonsnails and didn't dig any clams but had fun picking up this assortment of examples of sea life. There are no Hermit Crabs to be found at this time of the year, but I did find one tiny Sea Star that isn't shown in this picture.

 

I picked up that live Sanddollar to give you a closer look at the underside of this animal. There is a mouth in the middle, but the surface is covered with short spines that are used to move the disk through the sand. Sometimes you can observe where these animals have moved when left by the tide. Normally, they remain sub tidal and safe under the salt water. Needless to say, I put all live animals back in the water before they froze. I did hear on TV this morning that the ocean is 39 degrees!

So, from fresh water fishing to salt water scrounging, life in Maine can be very interesting. 2/19/11 Ronnie enjoying both!