2/16/17 The title about says it all...This is likely the last weekend of ice fishing here in Tioga County. The warm stretch coming starting tomorrow is going to erode the ice unfortunately. As of right now, anglers were fishing all of the lakes in the county, except Tioga. Ice is very spotty on Hammond and Cowanesque, however anglers were able to fish certain areas. Shoreline ice is mostly junk, but the main sheets are in decent shape with 6-7 inches of ice. As always, take a spud bar and check conditions yourself! These lakes have thawed and refroze multiple times and some areas are much thinner.
Hills Creek, Hamilton, and Beechwood are all in decent shape still. Hamilton has open water by the boat launch, but the dam end of the lake has roughly 7" of ice and the edges are solid. Hills Creek has around 5-6 inches and solid edges as well. Reports from Beechwood were limited, but people were fishing earlier this week. If we get an update, we will update here. Keep in mind, that this ice now is not the same ice we had a month ago, it is solid, but it is white ice or bubbled black ice, over just a few inches of good black ice. What this means is the warmer weather will deteriate it quicker too. We expect fishable conditions through Saturday, and possible Sunday, but past that, it's unlikely that any of the lakes will be fishable. It's all up to weather. If we can get some cold nights to refreeze what melts, the ice might hang around a little longer, but judging by the forecast, this seems unlikely.
Get out and enjoy what's left of the season. Check conditions, bring your safety gear, and good luck out there.
Here's some nice ones from Hills Creek this week! A 28" walleye, and a nice 20" bass! Great catches.