Yes, it's really cold, perfect weather for ice fishing
MEREDITH -- THANKS TO THE recent Arctic-like conditions in the state of late, the ice is nice on Meredith Bay. Really nice.
And the fishing?
"It's been fantastic," said Bob Myshrall of Center Harbor, holding his catch on Saturday, a 2½-pound, 19-inch rainbow trout.
"In the derby, that might have won first place," said his friend, Pete Muse of Meredith. (Related story, Page A8.)The "derby" is the Great Meredith Rotary Ice Fishing Derby, which will be held Feb. 8-9; it offers more than $50,000 in cash prizes. Winners in each division — lake trout, rainbow trout, cusk, pickerel, black crappie, yellow perch and white perch — are entered into drawings for the top cash awards.
The derby is not just on Winnipesaukee. Fish can be legally and freshly caught from any fresh New Hampshire public waters by a registered derby ticket holder. Fish must be taken through the ice on Saturday or Sunday of derby weekend. All fishermen must ensure that fish being entered in the derby are dead prior to entering the weigh-in line.
More information is available at www.meredithrotary.com.
Derby officials are hoping to raise at least $40,000 for local charities. That's usually their goal, but last year bad weather hampered the first day of the derby. This year's derby will be headquartered in a new trailer, paid for by local gifts and contributions.
Pond hockey tourney
The ice is also perfect for this weekend's 2014 New England Pond Hockey Classic on Meredith Bay. The ice has already been plowed and will be ready as 223 teams prepare to compete in seven different age and gender categories.
"We have added a plastic (side) board system to all our tournaments, so there will be 22 rinks on Meredith Bay this year with boards during tournament play," tournament organizer Scott Crowder said. "We are now the largest Pond Hockey Tournament organizer in North America."
There is a lot of excitement these days on Meredith Bay, where a sign now stands stating, "Welcome to Meredith Bay, Population 43."
That population figure has been rising, said Derek Taylor of Meredith.
"We've been here since the ice was first safe," Taylor said. "It was nice, and the fishing was really good when there were only a few of us. Now there's more people every day out here."