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Labor Day brings a myriad of outdoor pursuits

Paddler should not forget they need a launch permit or boat license at state launches
Paddler should not forget they need a launch permit or boat license at state launches
by Nick Hromiak

With Labor Day fast approaching, there are a few summer closers that should interest anglers and outdoors folks.
For starters, the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission reminds residents of their second Mentored Youth Fishing Day on Sept. 1 (Labor Day) on 17 panfish enhancement lakes. It’s a chance for mentored adults to introduce kids to panfishing that include bluegills, pumpkinseeds and redear sunfish, all species that can give first time anglers a tug on their fishing lines.

To encourage participation on this day, the PF&BC is reducing the price of a 1-day adult resident license to just $1, plus issuing license fee, for a total of $2.70. This license normally costs $11.70.

This offer should also attract occasional anglers who don’t want to pay full fare for a license at this point in the 2014 fishing season.

Of the local lakes in this mentored program are Blue Marsh Lake in Berks County, Brady’s Lake/Gouldsboro Lake in Monroe and Lower and Upper Promised Land lakes in Pike County.

The PF&BC also reminds paddlers, kayakers and canoeists that they need a launch permit to use PF&BC access areas if their craft doesn’t have a boat registration.

Launch permits cost $10 for one year or $18 for two years. Paddlers using these accesses without a permit or registration are subject to a $75 fine.

On another Labor Day celebratory treat, Bass Pro Shops in Harrisburg is hosting a Labor Day Hometown Festival with free activities and food samplings for the entire family. The weekend party runs Aug. 30 and 31 from noon to 5 p.m. each day and includes free games, crafts, giveaways, face painting, food samples and seminars.

According to Tammy Sapp, Bass Pro communications director, activities include:

* Metal Detector Treasure Hunt
* Casting Buckets for aspiring anglers
* Duck Pond Game where kids can pick a duck for a chance to win an LED flashing lanyard (while supplies last)
* Coloring an owl backpack clips
* Face painting
* Free photo downloads

These, plus, the first 100 kids to complete a punch card each day can win a free Bass Pro kids drawstring bag.

Other giveaways include two $25 gift cards that will be given away both days; honoring Hometown Heroes on Aug. 30 from 2-4 p.m., (police, military, paramedics, veterans, firefighters and teachers) with hourly drawings for a $50 Bass Pro Shops gift card, Maui Jim sunglasses and Yeti cooler. Winners must show valid ID.

Food samplings include hot dogs from 1-4 p.m.; food samples from noon – 5 p.m.; and homemade ice cream from 4-5 p.m.

Foodies Seminars are especially interesting with a 1:30 Stoke to Smoke – How to Smoke Meat Right; 2:30 Backyard Chef – picking the right grill; 3:30, Going Dutch with Dutch Oven Cooking Made Easy.

There are also Muskie fishing seminars both days with The Good, Bad and the Muskie at noon and Muskie Tactics at 1 p.m.

There will be factory experts on hand to answer questions on fishing and other outdoor pursuits.

For more information check www.basspro.com/hometown.

While Bass Pro in Harrisburg is a good one-hour drive for Lehigh Valley folks, there are side trips to be taken like taking a stroll through Amish country in Lancaster County, Hershey Park in Hershey and Roadside America in Berks County. Our only hope is that Bass Pro eventually opens a store (as has been proposed) at the Sands Casino complex in Bethlehem, so the drive won’t be as long.