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Moraine State Park: A Great Place for Ice Fishing Near Pittsburgh
In recent years, fishing has enjoyed a surge in popularity. Fishing is a fantastic outdoor activity enjoyed by many without regard to age, race or gender.
Ice fishing in Pennsylvania is no exception to the rule.
Once winter ramps up, from late December to early March, Pennsylvania's ice fishing "season" opens. For a weekend ice fishing trip, try one of my favorite spots—Lake Arthur in the Moraine State Park—near Pittsburgh, and remember to dress warm.
Best spot near Pittsburgh
Many area fisherman believe a successful ice fishing adventure requires traveling to the Poconos, out-of-state or to Erie for a weekend of camping and freezing temperatures. Hey! Save your gas and try Lake Arthur, Moraine State Park, in Butler County—a consistent hotbed for panfish, large-mouth bass, yellow perch and walleye.
Licensing Requirements and Special Regulations
Ice fishing straddles two annual licensing seasons. In Pennsylvania, a 2012 fishing license goes on sale Dec. 1, 2011, and is valid through the end of the 2012. Depending on the area you intend to fish and time of year, the waterway regulations may change. Be sure to visit the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission's Winter and Ice Fishing page and check the regulations for your desired location.
For Lake Arthur and Moraine State Park, Big Bass Program restrictions apply. Ice fishing is permitted in the Game Propagation Area from Jan. 15 to March 15—provided ice conditions are safe/ favorable.
Directions and General Information
Moraine State Park is about an hour north of Pittsburgh, near Portersville, just east of Interstate 79, and off of Hwy 422. There is an interactive map on the Pennsylvania Winter and Ice Fishing page. Zoom in on Butler County, then hover over the green marker near the I-79 emblem. A box will appear with a direction section at the bottom of the box. Enter your starting address, and wha-la! You're virtually there!
Neat Fact: In the same box, there are helpful tips for best areas to fish depending on your target species.
For more information, visit the Moraine State Park home page and get ready to enjoy Western Pennsylvania's best spot for ice fishing, in my opinion.
Giovanni Badalamenti looks forward to returning to the ice for fishing after a 3-year hiatus.
Read more from this contributor:
Art Michaels, "Pennsylvania's Best Ice Fishing: When, Where and How Anglers Caught Fish"; Pennsylvania Angler and Boater (Nov.—Dec. 2005)
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, "Pennsylvania Winter and Ice Fishing"
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