Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Ice Fishing Round Valley Pond

I drove to Advanced Power Equipment in Martinsville to pick up my auger with blades I assume were worked on. I paid some $23.00. We got to Round Valley Pond and found no difference whatsoever in the equipment's performance, compared to the recent trip to Lake Hopatcong.

I'm not pissed. Not only did we have an excellent time out, I leaned on the auger, burned at least $4.00 worth of Husquevarna 95-octane fuel, and cut three holes, not pressured under negative 20 wind chill as last week. We were offered a hand drill from a guy who caught a 12-inch perch and an 18-inch pickerel, and I admit I felt of twinge of guilt, wondering about the longevity of his blades, but Matt got holes cut as I did not refuse. Maybe I'll buy a grinder. Maybe I'll go protest in Martinsville, but whatever, I will be examining the blades with Mike Maxwell, who understands things practical a lot better than I do. As Matt cut the third hole, I called over to him, "the existential concrete lived experience!" This I get. But it's not the same as making things work.

I felt fully confidant about catching fish here, although I was a little concerned that the pond is getting pounded. I talked to Tom Tosco at The Sporting Life, and he told me to expect a couple of guys. I quipped that as long as they're not on my spots, that's would be OK, and to tell you the truth, as I walked into view...that's where I was looking to, my spots, as if whoever was out there was just an object. As he turned out, in truth--a real nice guy, and I have to credit myself in spite of evil intent at first. Once I stepped out, I looked to the guy at a distance (and not on my spots), anticipated our meeting glances....and raised hands of greeting. The bonds of relationship are so important. Things matter not at all without the concrete lived existential experience.

Before action flurried in a straight line near the straight-edged shoreline from about 12 to 20 feet deep, two young women approached Matt and me. Jena goes to Raritan Valley. I regret to say I didn't get the graduate's name, but she went to school in Pennsylvania. We hung out and talked for an hour or so before I noticed a high flag. Matt caught a 22-inch pickerel. Afterwards, I went to get the Husqevarna, fearing a stripped transmission, which I soon found out, to my great relief, was OK, while Jena caught a 20-inch pickerel. A gift from Matt.

A minute later, I caught my 18-incher. Later, as we began packing it in, Matt fought a pickerel of at least 22 inches, which broke off at the hole. Cut through 15-pound test fluorocarbon, which does happen on other rare occasions.

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