Bass Season
Inside the Outdoors, June 16,

It’s been said many a time that trout season is just a time to get anglers anxious for a new year of fishing. I can see where that trend of thinking originates. All one has to do is sense the excitement when a bass takes one’s bait and the rod bends and the battle begins. There are times the rod action is so great that one has to play the fish out before he can actually bring it in.

Catching a stocked trout and hooking a wild bass does have its differences. Tagging a trout that may have been dumped into the waters weeks before the season opener and its counterpart living in the wilds since birth may react differently when caught.

Once a bass realizes it’s hook, it will go to any length to g4t rid of that hook. Most the time bass will come jumping out of the water sometimes two feet above the water’s surface trying to shake it out. Sometimes it works, other times it doesn’t. But then, that gives the fisher ‘thoughts for thinking’ just what he can do to bring the ‘lunker’ into shore.

That’s the fun of it. The competition is between the two creatures – man and fish. The question is, “Which will win out?” And so the fight is on.

This year bass season begins tomorrow, Saturday, June 17. The fish included are largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass. One can keep fish twelve inches long, six combined species where the Big Bass Program does not apply. In that case, fish have to be fifteen inches long with a daily limit of four combined species.

In Westmoreland County the Big Bass Programs are located in the following compounds: Bridgeport Reservoir, Indian Lake, Keystone State Park Lake, Upper and Lower Twin Lakes, Mammoth Dam, and Northmoreland Lake.

The majority of the anglers who fish for bass usually practice ‘catch and release’. Very seldom does one see anglers keeping these fish. One reason may be, the larger the fish, the less taste the meat of the fish has. Many sports-minded enthusiasts will share the fact that they like catching one fish over another because of the taste of the flesh. But if the flesh yields little taste, then the ‘chef’ will have to spice up the meal before eating it. However, with that said, like a bass, there are consumers who don’t like the fishy taste of any fish. Then bass is the fish for them.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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