We have seen very unseasonably cold weather here on the Southern Outer Banks. It has resulted in ice in a lot of our creeks and waters off the main channel. Yesterday there was nothing but ice in the gut behind our home that leads to the White Oak River.
It seemed to me that this ice was a penalty for the exceptionally nice fall that we have enjoyed on the Crystal Coast. I had already predicted a cruel, cold December, but it was a shock to have the cold come so fast and be so severe.
On November 30, we went for a walk on the beach, and I was sorry that I had not changed to shorts. The temperature reached 76F that day and 68F the next. Yesterday only a week later, we barely made it above freezing.
While the cold temperatures are something which we don't like, they can be deadly to our fish, especially if the ice freezes completely to the shore, and the water temperature drops very quickly.
I was happy to see some open water this afternoon as temperatures reached into the forties. Tomorrow we should make the fifties, and we will briefly return to the sixties on Sunday. I am guessing that most of the ice will be gone by Friday afternoon.
Hopefully we got rid of the ice before many of the local fish were killed or hurt. Fishing is part of life here, and this fall was a tough enough season without having to deal with a winter fish kill.
I know we are back to cold weather the first of next week, and it looks like we will have about 30 hours of below freezing temperatures with two long stretches of over twelve hours each. However, I am hoping that being in the sixties over the weekend might keep the ice from being as severe as it has been this week.
Weather is hard to predict, but we can always hope our fish will make out okay, and that just maybe this will be the worst of this year's winter.