Fishing from a float tube in one such water, a flooded strip pit
, aurizio "Pikeman" Rossini, caught this one measuring just over 54 inches and weighing well over 50 pounds.
It's a small mallard spread on an eight-acre strip pit, more or less, and a natural blind in the willows.
Or rather, it's the high salinity content of these ponds, and these strip pits in particular, that keeps them from freezing over.
The notable exception is The Pit--a submerged strip pit
pond with depths in the 10-to 15-foot range.
As days shorten and night time lows pull water temperatures down, bait that had been drawn shallow by cooling temperatures will be driven deep after a hard front passes, especially on lakes that offer a deep water refuge--Talquin, Santa Fe, the Butler Chain and any number of old strip pits
and phosphate mines come to mind.
And so, slowly but surely, all of the mining in Healy Valley died out and what was left behind was a series of old abandoned buildings, load-out facilities, a series of strip pits
, and other mining-related stuff.