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Anglers looking to hit the waters this weekend will have lots of company, as Pennsylvania’s bass season opens Saturday, June 16 this year.

The black bass is one of the most popular sport fish targeted by Pennsylvania anglers, second only to trout, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Executive Director John Arway said last year.

“One of the main reasons bass is popular is because the Commonwealth has so many fantastic spots for anglers to catch small mouth and large mouth bass, from creeks and rivers to large ponds and lakes,” he said. “Our Commonwealth has over 86,000 miles of streams and rivers to fish and more than 4,000 lakes and reservoirs, most which contain bass.”

Arway added that many anglers fish for bass while visiting Pennsylvania state parks, where families and kids can enjoy fishing along with other amenities, including camping, hiking and biking, and canoeing and kayaking.

“State parks are great family-friendly places to fish, particularly if you have young kids,” he said. This year the start of bass season falls on Father’s Day weekend. Many families will take advantage of the warmer weather and longer days, and this weekend’s forecast promises clear skies.

As the no harvest, catch and release period closes at midnight Friday night, the new season begins. Those out fishing for largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass may keep a limit of six bass (combined species) per day, provided they are 12 inches or more in length.

The limits and size regulations are the same in lakes as well as rivers and streams.

It is not a violation of the bass regulations if a bass is immediately returned unharmed to the waters from which it was taken. It is unlawful for an angler to cast repeatedly into a clearly visible bass spawning nest or redd in an effort to catch or take bass.

All anglers are encouraged to visit the fish and boat commission website, www.fishandboat.com, regularly for updated events and articles.

Fishing licenses are available at www.GoneFishingPa.com or at any of the more than 900 licensing agents across the state.