HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — There are only a few dates that bait shop owner Bob Evans circles on his calendar. The regional opening day of trout season is one of them.
“In Pennsylvania, trout season ranks right up there with the opening day of deer season. It’s just a big annual ritual, ” Evans said.
Thursday has been the busiest day yet for the co-owner of B&B Wholesale Baits in West Hanover Township. Large tanks are filled with fat head and rosy red minnows, and several live bait refrigerators are stocked with a selection of red worms, night crawlers, and other trout favorites.
“That’s what a butterworm looks like,” he says, opening the lid of a small, clear container holding several yellow grub-like worms. “That’s the hottest bait this year.”
But it’s yet to be determined if fishing will be hot this Saturday. And with up to two inches of rain expected leading up to Saturday morning, many would-be anglers may not be willing to endure the elements, which could affect last-minute license and bait and tackle sales.
“You’re still going to have your diehards that are going to go out regardless, no matter what,” Evans said. “Creeks are going to be high, but you’re still going to have guys going out. You’ll still be able to catch fish.”
The uncertainty created by the weather could also affect nonprofit organizations hoping to cash in on an influx of visiting fishermen.
“We have our annual fisherman’s all-you-can-eat breakfast,” said Whitney Faust, who leads fundraising efforts for the Carsonville Volunteer Fire Company in northern Dauphin County. “I’m hoping it brings more people inside because they don’t want to stand outside, but it could keep people away.”
In year’s past, Faust says a wet opening day hasn’t hurt support. The $8 breakfast, running from 5:30-10 a.m. draws a crowd of both early birds and those who prefer to eat after a few hours streamside.
“Come on in here where it’s warm, get something to eat,” she said.