by Leon Archer
Just when I thought that I was safe in believing that Old Man Winter was going to roar into Upstate New York as he did in days of yore, and establish his reign for three or four months like when I was a boy, I found out why I never became a weatherman.
Maybe I am just cursed to jinx all the skiers, snowmobilers and ice fishermen when I make an innocent observation about how the weather has turned in their favor.
The temperatures this week certainly haven’t been very conducive to winter sports; in fact, they have gotten close to Florida levels. However, take heart all you snow and ice lovers, I am making no more observations or predictions about the weather; you now have a chance.
There were a lot of snow geese hanging around in the Montezuma area before the snow came and I suspect that they probably didn’t head out right off. The problem hunting them is trying to figure out how to be in the right spot at the right time.
Unless a hunter has a huge rig of snow goose decoys or reasonable facsimiles of such out to catch their attention, snow geese will pretty much go where they want to — not where hunters want them.
Some guys have had good luck with them, but a lot more have just gotten frustrated in the attempt. My son, Ben, out in Washington State, went hunting for them with several other regular goose hunters – and they got nada, zip.
I’ve pretty well tied my hunting up for this season, so I don’t have to try to figure out the geese. Once I hit the Indian River and the Florida beaches, I will care less about where the geese are flying. It’s easier to predict where the redfish and sea trout are going to be hitting, but I can get frustrated enough trying to get that equation right, forget the geese.
The Indian River has been changing, mostly for the worse, over the past decade, and some of the bad changes have been accelerating for the last two or three years. The sea grass has been disappearing, and it’s nearly non-existent around Sebastian.
It used to foul our hooks when we were fishing with jigs, but it provided cover for fish and nursery areas for their young. Without it, the area is like a very damp desert.
Fish pass through, but there is little to hold them here, so there are never big schools of good eating fish like there used to be.