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Fish slow to bite on first day of season

April 03, 2010|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

GREENCASTLE, PA. -- Saturday was a dark day for thousands of Franklin County worms as anglers scooped them into cans, hung them on sharp hooks and tossed them into lakes and creeks in celebration of the first day of fishing season.

Eighteen counties in southern Pennsylvania, including Franklin and Fulton counties, opened streams, lakes and rivers for licensed fishing Saturday morning. The rest of the state will open fishing season April 17, according to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

Spending the day lakeside with a cool drink and a comfortable chair is relaxing, even if the fish aren't biting, said Robert Thomas of Quincy, Pa.

Every year since he was 13 years old, Thomas has found his way to water on the opening day of trout season, he said.

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Despite efforts to stock the state with quality fish, the fish at the Greencastle Sportsman's Association did not seem to care for Thomas' bait this year, he said, as his fish bucket was empty.

However, patience is the key to catching a fish, he said.

"You can't give up," he said. "You have to wait."

For brothers Jacob Palmer, 8, and Jason Palmer, 11, of Greencastle, patience is a skill they were learning to master Saturday.

Jacob said he catches fish with worms and power bait, not patience.

Jason said patience is one bait he uses less than the rest.

And while their fish bucket also was mostly empty, the lesson their father, Jay Palmer, was trying to teach the boys was starting to take root.

"You can't just bring your line in after a few minutes and say, 'Dad, I'm not getting many fish,'" Jason said. "You have to wait."

It took most of the morning for the fish stocked in the Greencastle Sportsman's Association lake to bite, Thomas said.

When the fish started biting, it was 12-year-old Morgan Wallech of Greencastle who enjoyed most of the early success.

While she was reluctant to touch the wriggling fish hooked to the end of her line, catching the fish was fun.

For all of the beautiful scenery, the fresh air and cool breezes, Emily Rogers, 11, of Walkersville, Md., said what makes fishing fun is the moment when you feel your line go taught because some unsuspecting fish took the bait.

"Catching fish," she said. "That's what's fun."

Area lakes and streams will be open for regular trout season through Labor Day. Extended trout season continues through Dec. 31.

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