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Starting Off The New Year On The River

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RUSH TOWNSHIP -- A group of anglers in Schuylkill County have started a New Year's tradition.

No matter the weather, on the first of the year they are out on the river fishing for trout.

The anticipation of the new year ahead is a lot like trout fishing.

"Because sometimes you don't know what you're going to catch, because you don't know if it's going to be big or small," said Ben Klingman of Schuylkill Haven.

Ben and his dad were among about forty fishermen who began 2015 on the banks of the Little Schuylkill River near Tamaqua.

Members of the Trout Unlimited chapter of Schuylkill County started this tradition several years ago. It's now a fundraising event for the group.

"I like fishing and I might as well do it on the first day of the new year," said Scott Readinger of Schuylkill Haven.

Readinger was the first to get a catch during what's called "extended trout season".

Readinger's catch is New Year's Day dinner. But, that wasn't the main goal for these anglers.

"Just the comradery, better than sitting in the house, cabin fever. You can't beat it, a couple of trout, it makes it all the better, you know?" said Jim Breslosky of Weatherly.

Trout Unlimited stocked the Little Schuylkill River with 61 Rainbow Trout very early in the morning when it was still very cold outside.

"The fishing season fortunately is a year round activity for a lot of people, we think this is a special day because we want to start the new year off right," said John Bondura of Trout Unlimited.

Aside from being a fundraiser, organizers hope the event promotes fishing as a sport for all ages.

"It adds more money for the fish commission, everything, more fish can be put in here. It gets more people out here, gets more kids off video games, stuff like that," added angler Brendan Hinkle of Weatherly.

The fish, and the start of the new year, are both fresh.

1 Comment

  • king ruddy

    I’m not a winter fisherman but had going in the past .The best way I found to hook a fish in cold water is use a #14 or maybe #16 trout hook and use a small piece of bait ( small garden worm or red worm works just fine) maybe half or apiece of corn. You shouldn’t leave the fish see you. This works for other types of fish too. Won’t catch’em if your line isn’t in the water.

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