Warm Weather Poses Challenge for Ice Fishing

Kicking off February with temperatures in the 50s and 60s has been less than ideal for people itching for winter weather, especially for those who count on freezing conditions during the winter season.

“It’s pretty much terrible for ice fishing,” Fran Fournier, a Berlin resident itching to get out on the ice, said.

And Connecticut Outfitters in Wethersfield is feeling the impact. The sport shop that specializes in fishing gear typically amps up in the winter, helping people prepare for ice fishing trips and tournaments.

“Purchases of ice fishing gear are down, and bait is down a little bit as well,” Gary Brummett, the owner of the store, said.

Temperatures have been so warm that the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection had had to cancel several fishing tournaments and other outdoor cold weather events. And those who refuse to let the weather bring them down, have to head elsewhere.

“A lot of our anglers are very hardcore very serious and they’re willing to travel,” Brummett said. “My customers are heading north to still get on ice.”

Another place you won’t be getting on the ice is in Ansonia.

“We have to postpone our skating rink. We were gonna open up today, but with the unseasonable temperatures that we have outside being so high, the water did not freeze, so we postponed it until the 10th of February,” Mayor David Cassetti said.

The highly anticipated portable rink takes at least 15,000 gallons of water to create a safe skating surface. But, despite the warm start to winter, Brummett isn’t giving up yet. “You know what? It’s New England. It ain’t over ‘til the fat lady sings.”

Another concern with the warm temperatures is the safety of any ice you might think about getting on.

While it might look frozen, any melting and refreezing of the ice compromises its durability and can be extremely dangerous.

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