With the warmer weather and longer days of summer moving in, anglers are geared up for the start of bass season, which kicks off this Saturday across the Commonwealth.
The black bass is one of the most popular sportfish targeted by Pennsylvania anglers, second only to trout, says Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Executive Director John Arway, who expects a large turnout on the most popular lakes and streams, including PA’s Best Bass Fishing Waters.
“One of the main reasons bass is popular is because the Commonwealth has so many fantastic spots for anglers to catch smallmouth and largemouth bass, from creeks and rivers to large ponds and lakes,” he said. “Our Commonwealth has over 86,000 miles of streams and rivers to fish and more than 4,000 lakes and reservoirs, most which contain bass.”
Arway adds that many anglers fish for bass while visiting Pennsylvania state parks, where families and kids can enjoy fishing along with other amenities, including camping, hiking and biking, and canoeing and kayaking.
“State parks are great family-friendly places to fish, particularly if you have young kids,” he said. “And this year the start of bass season falls on Father’s Day weekend. I can’t think of a better way for grandfathers and fathers to spend their weekend than outside fishing with their sons, daughters and grandkids.”
In most waters during bass season, anglers can keep a daily limit of six bass, which must be at least 12 inches in length.
There are also lakes and rivers managed with higher length limits and lower creel limits. Anglers can consult the Summary of Fishing Regulations for more specific information.
Arway added that “another option is to practice voluntary catch and release which provides another angler the opportunity to enjoy the same experience that you had catching that lunker bass!”
The PFBC reminds anglers that “catch and immediate release” no harvest regulations apply to smallmouth and largemouth bass on the lower sections of the Susquehanna River (below Sunbury) and Juniata River (below Port Royal) and into the rivers’ tributaries to points one-half river-mile upstream from the confluence.
As it’s done the last several years, the PFBC will again have a presence at the NASCAR Axalta Presents Pocono 400 race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond June 9-11.
“This is an opportunity for us to promote fishing and boating opportunities to outdoor enthusiasts,” said Steve Kralik, PFBC’s Director of the Bureau of Outreach, Education and Marketing. “It also gives us a chance to remind people that there are still a lot of good fishing and outdoor activities coming up as the opening of bass season approaches.”
Anglers can make the most of their bass season experience by checking out several resources on the PFBC website.
Fishing licenses are available at www.GoneFishingPa.com or at any of the more than 900 licensing agents across the state.