Harrisburg, PA – Hundreds of vacationers from across the state participated in half a dozen special fishing events held on Memorial Day, the first of two statewide Fish-For-Free Days this year hosted by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC).
“This year we decided to try something different and hold the Fish-For-Free events on holidays,” said PFBC Executive Director John Arway. “We know that many families and their friends spend these holidays at parks and waterways. Our events made it easy for adults and kids who had never fished before to learn the basics of the sport at their favorite vacation spots.”
Fish-for-Free Days allow anyone (resident or non-resident) to legally fish. No fishing license is required to fish on these days. All other fishing regulations apply. The second Fish-for-Free Day is Labor Day, Sept. 5.
The PFBC’s staff held fishing programs, conducted demonstrations and distributed fishing and boating information at six popular waterways, including Lake Wallenpaupack (Pike and Wayne Counties), Lake Nockamixon (Bucks County), Foster Joseph Sayers Lake (Centre County), Raystown Lake (Huntingdon County), Presque Isle Bay (Erie County) and the Emsworth Pool of the Three Rivers in Pittsburgh. For a glimpse of the day’s activities, visit the PFBC online photo gallery at: www.fishandboat.com/promo/fff/fff2011day1/fffd-media.htm.
The events were held in conjunction with Cabela’s “Wanna Go Fishing for Millions?” national contest. As part of the contest, fish were tagged in eight waters. Every tag carries a prize. The other two waters are Penns Creek in Centre County and Lake Arthur in Moraine State Park, Butler County.
The Cabela’s contest officially started on May 14 and runs through July 14. Anglers can register through the PFBC website at www.fishandboat.com/fishformillions.htm for a chance at landing the $2.2 million prize. So far, anglers have landed nearly a dozen prize-winning fish from state waters.
And with the popular bass season just around the corner, the PFBC expects more contest fish to be caught. Bass season officially kicks off on June 18.
“Just as the opening day of trout marks the start of the fishing season, the first day of bass starts the summer fishing season,” said Arway, who added that he expects to see an uptick in license sales. “This spring was pretty wet and cold and we saw license sales fall. But we’ve got a long summer ahead of us and plenty of excellent fishing available all around the state. I think anglers will be excited for the warm weather and will be out in large numbers.”
More information on where to find bass and how to catch them is available on the PFBC website at: http://fishandboat.com/bass.htm. Among the tools anglers can use are interactive maps, which allow users to search for waters by name or county.