Angler Award Program
Inside the Outdoors, July 26
, 2013

Even though we are in a technological age, many seniors who have now time for fishing may not be aware that an Angler Award Program exists. The reason is that the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) has opted to put all information online instead of including it in the 2013 Pennsylvania Fishing Summary of Fishing Regulations and Laws that each person gets when licenses are purchased.

When I was approached recently by a friend in church, he asked me why I have never written about it. I had to advise him that I had forgotten about it since it was not in the booklet. I had, additionally, assumed that it did not exist anymore since it was not in the periodical. The state has provided a fishing incentive program and here is how it works.

Awarded will be citations for over 30 species of fish, mixed and varied. To clarify that statement, a mixed species denotes brook, brown or lake trout, for instance, and varied means any other species of fish including suckers and carp.

There are also various categories – Senior Angler for those anglers 16 and older, Junior Angler, for those anglers under 16, the Husky Musky Club, for anglers who land a musky 50 inches or longer, Catch and Release for those anglers who practice catch and release whereby the qualifications must be based on length, and the First Fish, whereby one is recognized for his first fish. There are no size qualifications for this category.

There are 13 rules plus a detailed fill-in area on the form requiring in-depth information, such as rod, reel, line, name of bait and the name of individual(s) who witnessed your catch, etc. All must be strictly followed.

Just to cite some examples as per the chart on the application, if a senior catches and releases a bluegill with a minimum of 8 inches, 0 pounds and 12 ounces, he is eligible for a certificate. For that same fish, the junior angler can get an award if his fish is 8 inches, 0 pounds and 8 ounces. The state record for a bluegill is 2 pounds, 9 ounces. Since this is an old chart, the numbers may have changed but not entered on the application.

If one catches a state record fish, a separate application is required. One may obtain this and the other application by contacting the local PFBC office in Somerset at 814-445-8974 or the state office at 717-705-7835.

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My heartiest congratulations go out to Lou and Patricia (Trish) Sartoris who came away victorious at the West Virginia State Trap Shoot 2013.

As Trish stated, “I won the Open Lady 2 Handicap Championship on Sunday with a 93 out of 100 and 88 was the closest score to me. I received a silver and gold ladies’ belt buckle with the shoot title engraved on it.” The Latrobe resident had to shoot at and down clay pigeons as they were fired up in the air. She recently was runner-up in the Pennsylvania State Sportsmen’s Association’s Colonial classic and PA State Trap Shoot.

Her husband, Lou, won the Open Veteran’s Singles Championship with a 100 out of a 100 “birds,” as they are called. The following day, the Latrobe entrepreneur won the 200 Singles Championship hitting 196. Owner of Sartoris Frame Shop on McFarland Road, he received two nice trophies for his achievements.

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I just received word from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission that its commissioners “have proposed removing the regulation that restricts anglers to using three or fewer hooks on a fishing line. Within the last few years, anglers have asked the PFBC to use the “Alabama rig,” an umbrella-type rig which contains five lures on short wire lines that merge to one point to attach to a fishing line. If adopted on a final rulemaking, the change would take effect after being published in the PA Bulletin.”

As soon as I get the word, I will publish the information in this column.


- Paul J. Volkmann
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