(click headline for photo)
The Santa Cruz river is starting to creak. Latest reports predict that the river ice will break up this Friday.
Hector Svaldgaard recently inspected the riverbank with his fishing gear, just in case the annual break up arrives earlier than predicted. "I can't wait," said Mr, Svaldgaard. "Ice fishing this past season was pretty fun, but nothing beats sandies on light tackle." Sand Pike, more commonly known as sandies, are easiest to catch immediately after ice out, which always brings excitement and anguish for local anglers.
Arizona Fish and Game is predicting typical conditions this year. While Tucson is hitting 100 degrees a bit early this year, May 13 is more or less in the normal range. This is fine with Mr. Svaldgaard. "I'm ready to fish! Last year we had to wait until May 30th, so this year's earlier ice out is appreciated." But earlier isn't alway better. While folks are anxious for sand pike season, an early heat wave usually spells disaster. "In 2012 we hit one hundred on April 22nd," recalls Mr. Svaldgaard. "It was too early so none of the fish were ready to bite anything. But that's still better than when I was a kid in the late 60's and just about died waiting until June 17th for the ice to clear out for good."
IF YOU GO:
- Remember your fishing license.
- Bring plenty of water because the ice breaks on the first day that Tucson hits 100 degrees.
- Pack a camera because a photo of a sand pike would be a really, really amazing achievement.