When is the opening day of Trout season in Southeast Pennsylvania?
For my family the beginning of Trout season has grown into the most celebrated holiday of the year. Mom and I have made this a special day of family bonding and this year we even brought dad.
Arriving at 6:30am we quickly rushed to place our chairs on the bank and stake our claim to the best spot on the pond.
Trout season officially starts at 8:00am and with our spot secured it was time to attend to other business…
Leaving mom and dad to guard the folding chairs, I made a quick dash to Wawa for some coffee and grub. With a lighter wallet and a heavy feed bag I made my way back to the pond. By this point other fishermen had begun to descend on the area. As I devoured my morning prey I admired the rises and ripples that were being made on the water… Yep. The stocked Trout were hungry too.
After what seemed like an eternity, a gentleman at the head of the pond proclaimed, “It is now 8:00. Time to fish!”
To catch the first fish is an issue of pride, with the intensity a school yard footrace we were off.
My plan was simple:
Rod 1: Rigged with an indicator and #8 egg hook loaded with orange Powerbait. A secondary hook was added as a dropper with some lighter line in case the trout were being picky.
Rod 2: A small brass Panther Martin spinner with an orange feather dressed treble hook.
After missing light bites on my first cast with the Powerbait rod I decided to give rod #2 a try. Who needs bait anyway?
Wham! a nice 12″ Rainbow Trout slammed the spinner and easily came to shore. In the excitement I forgot to grab my net. The first fish threw the hook and flopped back into the water…
With added urgency, I repeatedly cast my spinner and soon I felt another tug.
The pace was frantic. Other fishermen all around the lake were landing trout left and right. Mom, Dad, Me, Dad, Mom, Me…
In PA the daily limit is 5 fish per person per day. Even with a few catch and release encounters, Mom, Dad, and I had our limits by 8:30am. The opening day of Trout season is usually the only time during the year I’ll keep fish and to have reached our limit in 30 minutes was down right insane!
After catching our fish, we hung out for a little bit to socialize. I saw a kid catch a snail…
Before we left my mom noticed a little kid who had been getting skunked all morning. This was unacceptable in mom’s book. Everyone else around the pond was catching fish and this kid needed help. With the precision of a seasoned fishing guide, mom sprung to action.
She showed the boy where to cast and after a few tries he hit the mark.
His bobber danced around on the surface of the water but he was unable to set the hook.
“You need to get rid of that bobber.” Mom proceeded to give the now bobberless boy a five minute lesson on how to feel the fish biting without a float.
The boy returned his orange Powerbait to the spot where he had previously missed a fish. A few seconds later Mom’s lesson payed off. The boy set the hook and started pulling in a sizable stocked Rainbow Trout.
Frantically my whole family scrambled for our net. There was no way this kid was going to lose his first fish of the day. As the fish flopped around inside the net our mission was accomplished. one child, one fish, lots of smiles. His family thanked us and we began to pack our gear.
By the time we were rolling out of the parking lot the boy was into his third fish. My Mom is a fishing machine.
Returning to my parent’s home, it was time to prepare our catch for the freezer.
While I won’t go into the details of preparing our catch for consumption, I will say that with three people we made short work of cleaning the fish.
Afterwards, over a warm cup of coffee, we sat and pondered the idea of a 30 minute “day of fishing”. Mom and I agreed. 30 minutes was about 5 hours and 30 minutes short of our standard. At our day’s limit for Trout we decided… It was time for Bass.
Stay tuned for more of today’s story: 2012 PA Trout Season Opening Day pt. 2
Did you get out for SE PA’s opening day? Are you stuck waiting in another part of the state? How do you feel about stocked Trout? Let us know in the comments below!