Ice fishing

In Southern New England, it is only really during January and February that pond or lake ice is thick enough to allow ice-fishing.  West Hill pond is the only major water body in town where ice-fishing still takes place and it has supported ice-fishing since the earliest days.  When it existed, Greenwoods Pond probably supported ice-fishing.  Ice-fishing, like all other forms of fishing varies between communal and solitary.  The village of Nepaug once supported a communal form of ice-fishing.  Once the Nepaug River was frozen, especially in the slow shallows near the church, a communal drive could take place.  These drives were aimed mostly at catching eastern or white suckers, a schooling, bottom feeder that once existed in great numbers, prior to the building of the Nepaug Reservoir (though its decline may not be causally connected).  The Nepaug fishermen used spears to catch these fish and caught them in sufficient numbers that an even distribution of the fish amongst the participants was a matter of course.  Although the sucker has numerous small bones, it is reported that these fish, being caught in the late winter, were a welcome addition to dinner.

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Filed under culture, Natural History

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