Members of the Waldo County Bass Addicts fishing club went hunting for silty puck-catchers April 21 at Kirby Lake in Belfast, a.k.a. “The Muck.” After spending the better part of Wednesday evening on the lake, they found what they were looking for: a pair of hockey goal nets.

Arthur Abbott recalled watching several months ago as a midwinter heatwave melted the frozen surface of the lake beneath the nets. During the slow-motion plunge, which took place over a number of days, Abbott took photographs, noting the location of the nets.

On Wednesday, he clicked through the photos on his digital camera, periodically shouting directions to two young members of the fishing club, Jordan Hill and Tyler MacLeod. The pair were gliding slowly around The Muck in a rowboat, occasionally casting a giant three-pronged hook attached to a rope out into the water and dragging it back to the boat, at other times dunking an oar up to the handle to probe the silty lake bed.

Abbott was pretty sure one of the nets had sunk in the reflection of a small bridge on a hiking trail across the lake. The other one he described in relative terms. It was by the “foaming bubbles” on the surface of the water, or “toward the stump on the shore.” The boys paddled in circles and figure eights.

After 15 minutes of trolling, MacLeod hooked the first net and dragged it aboard while Hill rowed the boat to the far shore. The second one proved harder to find.

“We were joking that if it was a fish with a line, they’d both be hooking on,” said Joanne Abbott as she watched the boys make yet another pass through the area where the nets were believed to have gone down.

Both nets were ultimately recovered, along with a metal folding chair. The finds were stacked neatly and left by the parking lot on Lincolnville Avenue.