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I enjoy doing fun things outdoors. Family adventures, hunting, fishing, hiking, photography, 4 wheeling, etc. Get out there and enjoy ... NOTE: PLEASE CLICK ON MY PHOTOS IN THE BLOG POST SO THEY WILL BECOME LARGER.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Weekend Trip to the Coast of NH

This weekend we wanted to explore a bit in the Portsmouth, NH and the seacoast area.

Saturday morning we headed to Plum Island to spent the day at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge.  We drove through Newburyport, MA which looked like a great little town to explore.  We wanted sand, ocean, critters, etc. so we continued on our way.  (Will visit Newburyport, MA another time).  We arrived at the visitor center to get information and a map of the refuge.  We talked to a couple people  there that gave us some great ideas for what to do. 

It cost $5 per car to get in to the refuge.  It is around 7 miles from lot 1 to lot 7.  That would be 14 miles of walking on the beach.  We decided drive and park at lot 3 then take the boardwalk to the beach and walk back toward lot 2.  The boardwalks are several hundred yards long.  We had a great time.  The tide was out so the beach was very wide.  It was windy and cold so it's good Pam brought ear muffs.  We returned by beach back to lot 3 and headed for lot 6.

On our way we spotted a Snowy Owl.  Several people were watching it feed on a duck it had killed. 

We continued to lot 6 and thought we would again walk the beach to lot 7.  Lots of nice shells.  We saw 6 unbroken sand dollars (lots of broken ones also) along the way.  One was still alive (maroon in color with little spines).  I brought my hunting GPS which said we walked almost 5 miles.  

Late afternoon we headed back to Portsmouth to check in to our hotel and make dinner reservations.  As we drove out the Snowy Owl was still enjoying the duck. 

We checked in to the hotel and headed out for dinner.  I wanted seafood so we went to Jumpin Jay's.  I had the best scallops I have ever eaten.  Portsmouth is very pretty at night so we walked around after dinner.   

I was up early on Sunday.  In fact, when I went to the hotel dining area the front desk person and the chef were watching television.  I startled them by being up so early.  I told them I was just there for coffee but they hurried to their stations.  I wanted to take pictures of "The North Church of Portsmouth" before the sun came up and people started moving about. One police car passed me and one guy walking.  Doesn't anyone get up early when they go away besides me ...

As it started to get light I headed for the water.  The center span of this bridge had been removed a few weeks back.  I took a picture of this tugboat, Miss Stacy.  In the news 2 days later there was a story and a picture about this tugboat that had gotten caught in the current moving the barge and ended up being pushed into the pier, took on water, and almost capsized.  

I continued looking for a fishing pier to take pictures. 

When I returned we checked out and headed out to explore.  We stopped at Fort Stark in New Castle.  It was used to protect Portsmouth harbor from the British in the 1700's and again in WW1 & WW2 from enemy subs.  There were a couple more fort's in the area we will explore next time.

We thought we would continue South along the ocean.  We ate lunch along the rocks.  The tide was out so the seals were sunning themselves on the exposed rocks.  I looked but no shark fins in the area. 

We arrived at Hampton beach and headed for home.  It was a relaxing and fun quick trip. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

NH Ice Fishing Derby - Lake Winnipesaukee 2012

It has been a warm winter so the reports say the ice is thin on Lake Winnipesaukee.  We decided to fish the first day of  the derby.

Kevin and I planned to meet Rick and Steve near the same spot we fished last year from Cow Island.  I was up at 4:19AM.  I woke Kevin at 4:45PM.  We loaded up and were off to Dunkin Donuts.  Rick and Steven were stopping for bait on the way up. 

I brought extra socks, gloves, hats, hand and foot warmers, ice cleats, ice picks, etc. in case we got wet.  I also brought a long tow rope from my truck thinking if anyone went through the ice it may be useful.  If you aren't prepared you shouldn't be playing on the ice.  Grill, food, table, food, traps, food, bait, food, chairs, and ... oh yes, food. 

We arrived about 5 minutes before Rick and Steve.  There weren't many ice houses on the lake due to the thin ice.  We had 8 inches of ice in our area but we could see open water in several places.  We did have snow showers throughout the day.

Steven was the grill master and made his heart attack breakfast sandwiches, hot dogs, chili, venison (backstrap), and hamburgers throughout the day.  We never got to the kielbasa or the chicken ...  I often thought someone could get rich with a mobile Dunkin Donuts sled being pulled around the lake by a snowmobile.

We drilled many holes in the ice and set our traps.  Most of the time we had 7 traps (allowed 2 each) set up and used one Jig pole.  We caught quite a few Perch.  At one point Rick thought we may run out of bait so we moved most of our traps to deeper water. 

Fish & Game came around on ATV's counting traps and checking licenses. 

Kevin and I headed out mid afternoon and stopped in Center Harbor.  Looks like they had more like 4 inches of ice.

We also stopped in Meredeth to look at the board. We walked around on the ice also.  Looked to be 2 - 3 inches of ice when we checked. 

At one point we walked by a trap that was 15 feet from open water.  As we walked the ice was bouncing as water was squirting up through the trap hole with each step so we moved carefully to thicker ice away from the open water.  Kevin had the ice picks and I told him if I went in he could slide them to me and I would pull myself out.  I think I will buy a second pair next time.

The board had some nice fish.  A biggest fish on the board at that time was a 12 lb Lake Trout.  The categories were Lake Trout, Rainbow Trout, Yellow Perch, White Perch, Pickerel, Cusk, and Black Crappie.

Because of the thin ice there weren't as many ice shacks out this year.  There were quite a few portable ice shelters.  Some were large and looked pretty slick.  Ice shelters are light, easy to put up, mobile, and probably the way to go.  However, it is nice to see some of the creatively decorated ice houses ...

They said on the evening news that two snowmobiles did go thought the ice on the lake.  Both riders survived.
Search Blog Archive: February 2013, February 2011, January 2010 & February 2009 - for more Winnipesaukee Ice Fishing.