Although the last days of cold and snow are nightmares for many, it is a victory for lovers of ice. Intense cold has done for some of the best ice conditions throughout the winter. But as always, ice safety is paramount.
"It's beautiful. It's quiet, it's loneliness," said ice-fishing angel Barry Hamme while fishing on Lake Pincho.
As the snow falls on Lake Pincho, Hamme throws his stick in the hope of the big one.
"It's really fun. It's kind of like an adult man's video game. You are watching your sonar for a minute and watching the fish to see how they react, "he said.
"This is the best day we've ever had," said DCNR Area Range Officer Vanda Priulski.
After several cold days in a row, the conditions are superb on the Lake of York. The ice thickness is about 5 inches, ideal for all types of recreation.
"We recommend a minimum of four inches of ice per person, seven inches for a group of people," Priulski said.
If you do not have a drill to test the depth, you can actually test the ice simply by watching it. It's not that big, blacker and blue, the better.
– Black hard ice is the best. Right now, our ice is a bit milk because we had a lot of freezing and thawing, "said Priutsily.
At higher temperatures this weekend, ice conditions can quickly worsen early next week. Pritulsky recommends clearing from structures, vegetation and natural springs, as they can often be soft patches.
– The conditions are good. This is not the biggest winter for the fisherman-glacier, "she said.
Though he caught half a dozen fish today, Barry Hamme will probably think about the big one who escaped.
"I'll go home and say why I did not try, why did not I try it?" "The dummy, you had to try this, and you have to try this," he said.
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources monitors the thickness of ice in all Lakes of Pennsylvania. Rangers recommend checking the site to get a good idea of the depth of the ice.