Center to Host Fishing Derby
Inside the Outdoors, September11,

The Ligonier Camp and Conference Center and the Boy Scout Troop 375 will be holding a Catch and Release Fishing Derby, Saturday, Sept. 26, at the Ligonier Camp’s Lake, 118 Dugan Lane, Ligonier, beginning at 8:30 a.m. and lasting until noon.

Known as the former Ice Pond or Lady of the Lake Bread and Breakfast, the event is open to everyone, both young and old, alike.

Registration will be from 8 a.m. until 9 a.m. The event is $20 for adults and $10 for children twelve and under if one registers online beforehand by logging onto The day of registration for both youth and adults will be $30 for either. To save money, go on line today.

Registration fee includes parking in the lot off Two Mile Run Road, lunch after the event and a short program to follow.

Ready for this? The grand prize for the longest fish is one’s choice of a guided fishing trip on Lake Ontario for salmon and trout or $400. In addition, prizes will be given out every 15 minutes.

The Ligonier staffed troop under the leadership of Jim Shafron and the Camp’s Intern Coordinator Michele Robinson have been working very hard in preparation to make this community event a success. “All proceeds will go towards helping the boy scouts fund future events for their troop and camper scholarships for Ligonier Camp and Conference Center,” Patrick Myers, executive director, stated.

Robinson stated, “The Boy Scouts have helped in many ways some of which include marketing, fixing up the property, handling parking the day of the event and then taking part in cleanup after the event is over.”

There is only one stipulation. All participants taking part who are of age, must have a fishing license.

One can obtain these permits at any shop or chain store that sell fishing licenses. In the case of this tournament, one can obtain a one-day resident license, ages 16 and up for $11.70. A one-day tourist license for those of equal age is $26.70, not a bad deal considering the fact that it may be the ticket to visiting water basins never traveled before. This is an opportunity of a lifetime.

By the way, there is also a Voluntary Youth Fishing License that the state offers for youth younger than 16 that costs $2.70.

When asked whether or not one can use live bait, Myers answered to the affirmative.

That should brighten the eyes of worm, minnow and shiner anglers. However, lures, plastics and flies work equally well if presented properly.

One employee of the Center, Jim Paul, director of adventure education, stated that he fishes the compound on a regular basis. He said, “I have done very well with Zoom’s White Flukes and green salamander plastic imitations.” He also informed me that this lake is full of various species of fish from bass to catfish, sunfish and bluegill.

We spoke about the possibility of fly-fishing. He said, “Big poppers work well, too.”

I’ve always told people, “Presentation is everything.” Paul agreed.

When talking about the sport with him, I mentioned the fact that “People don’t realize that the hook is weight, so one need not need to affix anything more.”

I asked how deep the lake was, for that makes a difference as to presentation. His reply, “5 to 10 feet.”

Keep in mind, Ligonier Camp’s Lake is a clear water compound. Bass in the heat of summer are avoiding sunny flats, so they may be a little deeper seeking cooler temperatures.

One Latrobe resident has caught big bass from Keystone State Park Lake using a Crème Scoundrel. The seven-inch purple weedless worm imitation has a wavy tail that flutters as it is pulled through the waters.

Plastic worm imitations from four-inch to larger sizes have all fooled bass if presented properly.

One youth bought a black ringworm imitation plastic worm from me and reported the week after that he caught a bass immediately after it hit the water.

Rebel makes fantastic crayfish imitations. The Teeny Wee and Wee Crayfish lures have produced trout and bass for yours truly. The action is phenomenal.

Leland makes some crank baits that are trout imitations. I know they will do the trick at that lake. Shallow dive fish imitation lures are also dynamite for those seeking to catch bass. So one not always need live bait.

Number s 9 or 11 black and silver Rapalas, both single and jointed are favorites for bass anglers. I have had big fish snap my line using that bait.

The great thing about imitations, they can be used over. That’s not always the case with live bait.

Mark your calendars and then make it a point to support a good cause. Your decision may prove most worthy.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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