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Jerry Vovcsko

First dunked a worm in Otsego Lake (upstate NY) some 68 years ago and began pursuing striped bass in Cape Cod waters 40 years ago. Pretty soon I should be able to get it right...maybe.

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January 31, 2015

The Blizzard of 2015 Visits New England

by Jerry Vovcsko

Well, the Blizzard of 2015 turned out to match all the forecasts from the weather folk…and then some. At least that's the way it shaped up here in New England. Sixty mile per hour wind gusts combined with some 28 inches of snow made for brutal conditions and it didn't take Governor Baker long to declare a state of emergency and slap a driving ban on everything except snow plows and emergency vehicles.

The one upside to the storm was the low number of power outages in Southeastern Massachusetts and I for one was very pleased to not have to resort to candles and flashlights for light and the front room, fireplace for heat. However, electricity on Nantucket was pretty much non-existent a few hours into the storm and the power company dispatched forty emergency crews to get island residents' power turned back on.

Along with the snow pretty much burying most of the state, the Blizzard brought in some frigid temperatures. Wind chills dipping into sub-zero numbers made things even more challenging and it looks like those uber-chilly conditions will stick around for at least the upcoming week. That's good news for the ice fishing crowd as there will be no shortage of ice forming on local ponds and lakes. On the other hand the hardy souls who trek out onto the hardwater had better make certain to wrap up with plenty of wool, fur and PolarTec lest exposed body parts succumb to frostbite – as Momma would say, dress warm!

Down on the Lower Cape flooding concerns became reality as the Atlantic Ocean poured through a breach at Ballston Beach and into the Pamet River in Truro about an hour before high tide at the height of the Blizzard. Folks have long joked about Wellfleet, Truro and Provincetown "seceding" from the Upper Cape but it appears Mother Nature may have stepped in to accomplish just that.

The combination of storm-driven high tides with twenty-foot waves ginned up by the Noreaster wreaked havoc along the coast from Plum Island down to Cape Cod. Several beach homes in Scituate, Plum Island, Sandwich and Plymouth were condemned by town inspectors including a half dozen actually lifted from their foundations by the storm surge.

For all the catastrophic damage inflicted by the Blizzard of 2015…still, I have this strange notion that sometime, somewhere, somehow during the height of the storm, some lonely angler gazed at the wild surf and thought "Hmmm…I wonder if there's anything swimming around in that stuff?"…and then proceeded to take his just-in-case rod and reel (rigged with a 2-ounce bucktail jig) from the bed of his pickup truck and whip a few casts into the swirling froth. Because anglers are hard-wired to think that way and regardless of weather conditions, you just never know…

Ah well, come tomorrow we'll all be glued to our 60-inch flat screen TVs watching the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks tangle out there in the Arizona desert for NFL bragging rights and the opportunity to hoist the Lombardi Trophy one more time. So Go-Pats, and may it be a great game for fans and players both.

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