Game Lands Lakes Feature Bass Aplenty

Article excerpt

Those interested in exploring state game lands for lakes and ponds can start by visiting the Fish and Boat Commission Web site. There are detailed maps that show the locations of fishing destinations -- including those on game lands -- broken down by county.

Another good staring point is the state Game Commission's Web site. By clicking on "state game lands" on the left side of the page, you can download PDF versions of individual game lands maps. There's not a map for all game lands right now -- that's an issue the commission is addressing -- but for more than half.

The cock pheasant -- a holdover bird from last fall's stocking, no doubt -- crowing from somewhere in the brush of state game lands 95 provided a raucous soundtrack for Dan Black's Wednesday evening.

It was bass, rather than birds, that he was looking for, however.

Black, who lives in Hilliards, Butler County, had traveled to game lands 95 not to hunt or even to scout for game, but to fish Harbor Acres Lake.

"There are a lot of bass in here," Black said as he cast a tube jig along the weedy edges near shore. "They put trout in here, and my older son and I fished here the other day and caught eight of them, all on minnows. But there are some good bass in here, too."

"I've seen some real nice bass come out of that lake," said Rick Logan of Logan's Gun Gallery, a sporting goods store and tackle shop in nearby North Washington. "Not monsters, but nice fish, 15-, 16- inchers, and maybe bigger."

There are a number of lakes and ponds on state game lands in western Pennsylvania that offer good fishing for warmwater species like bass, panfish, northern pike and catfish, particularly if you're willing to do a little exploring.

Some of the waters are relatively well-known and easy to reach. Harbor Acres gets stocked with trout three times each year, for example, and sits just a 30-yard walk from the parking lot. …