Whether fishing from a lake shore or wading the rushing current of a stream, an army of anglers will be in pursuit of trout today.
Statewide trout season opens at 8 a.m. today. With more than 850,000 anglers buying a fishing license each year, an overflow crowd is anticipated to be angling not only for fish, but also the best spot to catch them.
Darryl Homan of Moxham got a head start on the season by leaving Friday for his camp along the Little Juniata River in Bedford County.
He had just purchased his license, trout stamp and enough wax worms to bag a limit of five trout, if they are biting.
“I don’t care what color they are, rainbow, brook or brown, as long as they tug on my line, I’ll be happy,” Homan said in the parking lot of PJ’s Tackle Box at 435 Ohio St. in Lorain Borough.
A self-employed salvage dealer, Homan said he hasn’t had an opportunity to fish opening day in recent years and will take time today to wet a line.
Paul Rutledge, PJ’s Tackle Box owner, said his store has been a beehive of activity as the opener approached.
“We brought in five more people, mostly family, to have extra help in the shop,” Rutledge said. “We will be selling bait at 5 o’clock on opening morning for those wanting fresh, lively minnows and other bait.”
The predawn shop opening, which is two hours earlier than normal, also will serve those fishermen who need last-minute items.
“People are excited when they come in for the opening day,” Rutledge said. “It signals the beginning of spring for many and a great time for families to get together.”
License sales up
With fishing license sales up by more than 20 percent, anglers from across the state are showing that they are ready to fish their favorite spots today.
John Arway, executive director of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, said opening day is a special time that families and kids look forward to every year.
“Opening day is a time-honored tradition for so many families, including grandparents, parents and their children,” Arway said. “I remember lying awake the night before and then getting up early and fishing with my family on opening day. It’s a lot of fun that I now share with my grandkids.”
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