If you’re reading this column because fishing has piqued your interest, but you don’t know how to start, the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission has solved that problem for you.
On Memorial Day, May 26, the PF&BC has set the first of two free fishing days in the state for residents and non-residents who want to try fishing but are reluctant to buy a license and equipment for fear that the sport may not be for them.
On these free (no license required) days, the PF&BC will furnish the necessary gear and provide guidance on all aspects of fishing.
According to John Arway, PF&BC Executive Director, “These Fish-for-Free days are an easy way to introduce friends and family to the sport. Many families spend the day at lakes and parks throughout the state so now they can try fishing at no cost.”
Newcomers to the sport can borrow equipment from dozens of fishing tackle loaner sites across the state according to Laurel Anders, director of the Bureau of Boating and Outreach.
She says, “We want to encourage individuals to try fishing so we’ve made it easy by setting up tackle loaner sites, many of which are right at state parks, which is always a popular place for visitors on Memorial Day. But we also have loaner sites at county parks and some public libraries. To check out a site that coincides with your Memorial Day plans or closest to your residence, check www.fishandboat.com/fishforfree.htm.
And if you miss this first free day, the second Fish-for-Free day is set for Independence Day, Friday, July 4.
LUNKERFEST 2014 CONTEST
What was supposed to be Lehigh River’s Lunkerfest 2014 on May 17, has been postponed until May 31 due to high water from the heavy rain experienced on Friday. That, plus water was released from the Francis Walter Dam that brought the rivers’ flow from 1,000 cfs to a roaring 2200 cfs.
The non-profit Lehigh River Stocking Association apologizes for this inconvenience but assures contest anglers that the trout would not likely bite in fast flowing chocolate-colored water.
In case you missed their initial announcement of Lunkerfest 2014, the same rules and fees still apply.
The association was going to, and will still stock, 500, 14-30-inch rainbow and brown trout in the Bowmanstown-Slatington stretch of the river on the morning of the contest. Of that total, 100 will be tagged for special prizes.
The contest will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday with on-site registration beginning at 7 a.m. The registration fee is $20 for adults while kids under 12 can enter the contest for free. According to LSRA, prizes not awarded on Lunkerfest Day will be given out during the extended contest that goes on until June 25. For timely information check their website at www.LRSA.org.
PIONEER FISH & GAME ASSOCIATION’S CONTEST
Trout anglers should not forget about Saturday’s (May 17) Little Lehigh Fishing Contest for juniors and on Sunday, May 17 for seniors. The annual contest is held between the Iron Bridge and Robin Hood Bridge in Lehigh Parkway located off Lehigh Street in Allentown. And I must say, the association stocks some very sizable trout as attested to by my grandson who fished the contest last year and hauled in some 14-16 inch trout.
The junior contest kicks off at 10 a.m., May 17 and seniors at 9 a.m. on May 18. Both contests end at 5 p.m. each day. Registration is handled on site at the big white tent and there will be bait and tackle offered for sale by Archery at the Glen Tackle Shop.
INDIAN CREEK FARMS LUNKER DERBY
I f you don’t have the inclination to buy a fishing license but like to fish were you know your bound to catch something, Indian Creek Farms Trout Derby is also being held Saturday, May 17-18. There’s a $30 entry fee that allows you to keep three fish at no extra charge. Indian Creek Farm is located at 3479 Mango Drive, (Rte 946) Danielsville 18028. Check their website at www.indiancreekfishing.com or call them at 610-760-0739 for more information and directions to their lake.