Every year thousands of people wake up a 4 and 5 o'clock in the morning to pack up their fishing gear to fish for trout. They wait in lines, dash to what they think is a "hot spot" and wait for the gun to sign so they can throw their lines into the water. They line up shoulder to shoulder with rod and reel in hand for that magical moment. It is a pilgrimage for these folks every single year. They pay $22.70 for their fishing license and then another $9.70 for the trout stamp. In most cases, people pay a total of $30.40 to fish for one day. Some catch their limit which is 5 fish of 7 inches or longer, while others go home frustrated and disgusted because they didn't even get a bite. The lakes and streams of NEPA are stacked with people waiting for that bobber to go under so they can set the hook and bring in that elusive trout.
I for one used to make this pilgrimage every single year. I would slip on my hip boots and wade into the ice cold Lehigh River or Bowmans Creek to cast my frozen line into the water in hopes of catching a fish. This yearly adventure ended about 10 or 12 years ago when I finally figured it out as I waded into the still somewhat frozen Lehigh River. It was so cold that day that the eyelets of my fishing rod were freezing up which prohibited me from casting correctly. After about 4 hours of not getting a bite, I strode back up to the car, turned on the heat and swore I would never fish like that again. It was INSANE! In fact, the entire first day of trout is INSANE! Standing shoulder to shoulder, lines getting tangled, fighting for a fish just doesn't make any sense. It became very unenjoyable to be part of the slaughter.
Yes, the first day of trout is nothing but a slaughter house. An outdoor joke on mother nature! Hell, half of the fish are illegally caught by anglers who follow the stocking trucks around. Soon as the Game Commission guys dump the fish and pull away, these parasites throw in their lines. God forbid if the stocking truck looped back around to catch these greedy bastards. In fact, the PA Game Commission web site actually lists what day and where they are stocking. Hell, that's not fishing! It's nothing but a kill zone. If these clowns want the fish that bad, then let them fish right at the hatchery. They make me sick! Believe me this stuff really does happen. I knew a guy who used to follow the stocking truck around, actually help them put the fish into the water and then immediately catch them. ARE YOU FREAKIN' KIDDING ME! This also happens when the brainless Game Commission stocks pheasants and Grouse. Hunters wait with guns in hand until the birds are released and the truck pulls away. The birds don't go very far because of their new surroundings so they are easy game.
I for one will never again fish on first day of trout until changes are made. The first change I would make would be to start the season in early May. Stock in April so the fish can get acclimated to their new surroundings which in turn would make them a little bit harder to catch. How about that concept, make it harder? Second, stop listing the stocking days and places so these parasite fisherman don't know when and where to go before the season starts. Also, after stocking, swing by a Game Commission flunkie to catch these pigs and fine them. Also, change the limit to 4 for adults and 6 for kids. Let the kids have some fun. A friend of the Gripe took his daughter out to Lake Francis on first day where that caught NOTHING! A big ZIP! Now wouldn't that just damper the enthusiasm of a young fisherman. HELL YEA! Finally, stop stocking certain waterways like Francis Slocum Park. Stocking these places simply kills the Bass Fishing. While fishing for trout, people are catching bass and either keeping them of killing them because they don't know how to remove a hook without fatally injuring the fish. To sum it up, 85% of the people that go out on first day of trout only fish that one day and don't know how to actually fish.
House of Kroy tour - *...sans the basement and garage.*
10 months ago