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“Are we still going?”

That was the text message I got from my fishing partner Rich early on Super Bowl Sunday morning.  It was a beautiful winter day with high temperatures expected to be in the 40s.  Winds were light, skies were clear, and a new moon was pushing swift tides up the Chesapeake Bay.  There was no reason to postpone our usual Sunday afternoon fishing trip, right?  Well, no reason except for the 75 miles of ice clogging our waters.

It’s been a cold winter so far on the Chesapeake Bay.  The Bay has frozen all the way across at the Bay Bridge on a couple of mornings and the Eastern shore has been iced in all the way up from Taylors Island to the Susquehanna Flats. The weekend warm-up had loosened up some areas, but almost all the Eastern Shore ramps were still packed in solid.

“Let’s try,” I shot back.  We were suffering from serious cases of cabin fever and really wanted to go fishing.  My next message went to the third member of our Sunday fishing trio, Jamie. “Any chance you can find an open ramp?” I typed.  Both Jamie and Rich grew up on the Shore, and they have plenty of friends and relatives around the water.  I imagined the local cellular networks were overwhelmed for a while as they called everyone they knew looking for a place to launch.  A whistle from my phone alerted me to a possible plan.  Jamie was forwarding pictures of an ice-free Knapps Narrows from his buddy Brian who lives on Tilghman Island.  Jamie’s follow up text read, “My dad says Tilghman is always open. Those boys gotta fish.”

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