BENTON– The sun was shining, the shirt sleeves were showing, and the temperature was climbing above 50 degrees.
But that didn’t stop the Nicholson Masonic Lodge 438 ice fishing tournament at Lackawanna State Park on Saturday. The event benefits Shriners Hospital for Children in Philadelphia.
Organizer Eric Krisa says, “You get more of a crowd out with the nicer weather like this, when it is zero and windy, that is when you lose people.”
Blaize Whitehead, 12, can see the advantage. “You are not freezing and you don’t have a bunch of gloves on.”
But the spring-like conditions do have a drawback. While organizers say the ice in the center of the lake is thick enough to fish safely, getting on and off of it, especially while dragging a sled is a messy affair.
Mark Whitehead of Kingsley says, “It wasn’t too bad when we got here around 8:30, it was all frozen we walked right on top, but around 10. 10:30 when the sun got beating on it, it started melting, it was really hard walking, there is 12-16 inches of slush on top of the ice.”
As the weather got warmer, the slop on the shore just got sloppier.
Whitehead says, “If you have your boots on I guess it isn’t too bad, but don’t fall down!”
Still all that slush couldn’t ruin the fun of a day on the ice, in the sun.