On Martin Luther King Day 2012, I had a dream of catching another fish for the Quest: a banded sunfish. Clay was up north damaging his internal organs while sledding with his kids, so I ventured out solo toIce Pond in Hampton where NH Fish and Game had documented the existence of banded sunfish a few years earlier. The ice was about 4 inches thick but clear. The water was moving up and down in the hole as I walked around, but I never felt in danger. The deepest spot I found was 4 feet 3 ". I figured if I fell through. I would simply stand up.
|The ice was clear, but the water was stained brown like tea. This picture shows bits of roots that I suspect had been nibbled by muskrat or beaver. The marshmallow-like blobs are air bubbles frozen in the ice.|
The banded sunfish eluded me again. I fished in 2 and 4 feet of water. I did not even get a nibble from the many bluegill and pumpkinseeds I know live there. Perhaps the ice was too clear which made the fish too spooked to bite.
|Even my favorite jigging rod could not conjure a banded sunfish.|
|A cold looking beaver lodge may have held fish in a deep channel near by, but it also harbored patches of thin ice.|