By RICHARD TATE
Correspondent 

The Sportsman's Corner

Mentored Youth Days April 6

 

This Saturday (April 6) is the local one-day mentored youth trout fishing day. I am not generally a fan of mentored youth days because unscrupulous adults have been known to take advantage of these in unsportsmanlike ways. However, I am enthusiastic about the mentored youth trout fishing day. Every year that I have driven around trout streams where adults are mentoring young fishermen, I have observed the mentors trying to help their young anglers enjoy their fishing experiences.

This fishing day is a good use of stocked trout. The mentored youth day takes place on waters where hatchery-raised trout have been placed. Among these streams, upper Clover Creek, Canoe Creek, and Yellow Creek are available for fishing by youths and their mentors.

To participate in the mentored youth fishing day, the young angler must obtain a free PFBC-issued permit. These can be obtained at any license-issuing agency or online at GoneFishingPA.com. To fish, the young angler must be accompanied by a mentor angler who has a current fishing license and trout permit. Both the adult and the mentored youth may fish, but only the youth may harvest any trout. The mentored youth angler's limit is two trout. The adult must release any trout he or she catches unharmed.


Over the past several years, I have noticed that the mentor anglers often do not fish, as they concentrate on helping their young anglers have successful outings. Often the mentors plop themselves on lawn chairs or five-gallon buckets after having baited hooks for their young partners. The excitement begins when a young angler latches onto a feisty trout.

When that occurs, I have enjoyed watching the mentor leap from his seat and excitedly advise the young fisherman to release line or pull it in, depending on what the trout might be doing. The laughter from the young angler as he battles the fish is often overshadowed by the excited instructions he or she is receiving from his or her mentor. It sometimes is difficult to figure out who is having more fun, the youth or the mentor.

I have also noticed that many of the mentors and their young fishermen practice catch-and-release fishing for the most part. The actual killing of trout seems to be relatively unimportant to many of them.

The mentored youth trout fishing day gives young anglers a chance to fish during uncrowded conditions for stocked trout, unlike the crowded conditions that exist on the traditional trout opener. It can be a special day for both young fishermen and their mentors.


 

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