A COLD and blustery day here in Tioga County as we look towards the weekend. Conditions have improved and will continue to improve for the next few days, however ice conditions are still variable on all of the lakes. These reports are for your reference only. Always check conditions yourself before heading out ice fishing! Ice is extremely slick. Cleats are a must!
Hills Creek State Park- A dozen people or so were out fishing here today off the stumps end around the middle of the lake mostly. Wind was a little less brutal here. Very little snow is on the lake. It is mostly bare ice. Ice varied from about 4.5" to just under 6" off the stumps end with no issue accessing the ice at the launch. The backs of the coves are likely thinner. There is 1 tiny spot of open shoreline by the Pine trees on the east side of the stumps end. Off the Pines launch, the lake is completely solid, however ice does thin as you get closer to the beach. We saw just over 6" close to the launch. Most of the area though, we found 4-5.5". Just in front of the beach area it thins to about 3.5". temps dropping to 0 tonight should help make a little more by tomorrow.
Beechwood Lake- A few groups were fishing off the boat launch area. The lake is completely solid again. There is a light coating of snow on much of the lake. Everyone accessed at the launch with no issue. Here, the ice measured about 5.5-6.25". The other side of the lake is all frozen again. We pulled off near the small pipe going under the road and accessed the ice here. Edge is solid, but the ice is thin. Here we marked about 3.5-4". We only ventured about 30 feet off shore.
Nessmuk- The lake is completely solid. There was some slush at the launch from snow piling up, but we had no problem accessing here. We worked out about 100 feet or so straight off the launch finding 4.5 to just under 5". Areas that are likely thinner are near the spillway and near the pipes coming off of 287. There is patches of snow. Much of that was blowing off the lake today.
Hamilton- The lake is completely locked up. There is some slush/snow piled up along the bank by the launch. We got on the lake to the right side of the launch and spudded out a 20 feet or so. The ice started at 3.5 then our next hole was under 3 and we did not venture further. The dam end has held ice longer, but we did not check here today.
Good luck and be safe out there. We look forward to a great weekend of ice fishing!