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Great fish guys!


If you'll indulge me for a moment, I'd like to tell a quick story from this past week. I call it "Pop Pop's Tackle Box".


One of my good friends from high-school had a grandfather that everyone called Pop-Pop. He was a life long Susquehanna River-Rat who's love for fishing was only equaled by his love for duck hunting. Pop-Pop was like a legend to me. A colorful character with a Miller Lite in his hand and a story for every occasion. Wherever he went, people always seemed to gather to hear him spin a yarn. 

My favorite Pop-Pop stories involved big fish, epic hunts, good friends, and lots of beer. Most of them also involved losing track of time, and typically ended (not surprisingly) with an angry wife. The thing about Pop-Pop was, as long as I knew him, and as many stories as I heard, I never knew whether he was telling truth or full of ****, and the best part was, I really didn't care. That was what made his stories so great. He often took us to his "river shanty" that he built himself on the banks of West Fairview. The land was owned by the railroad, but he claimed he had "squatters rights" and said he was allowed to be there for 99 years from the time it was built. Who the hell knows if was telling the truth?
Anyway, Pop-Pop passed away several years ago and recently his wife was forced to move from their home of 40+ years. My friend informed me that there was going to be an estate sale. She knew that I loved talking fishing with him and thought I might be interested in some of his old equipment. Pop-Pop grew up in the depression era and could squeeze 6 pennies from a nickel, so I knew not to expect high quality gear, There were 4 rods hanging from the rafters. Two heavier rods probably used for catfish/muskie and two lighter rods probably used for bass/panfish. All were Zebcos with miscellaneous, badly scratched reels, and rod-tips that had probably been replaced 5 times each. To be honest, I didn't have much interest, but I seriously contemplated buying one just for sentimental value. That was before I saw "IT".
"IT" was Pop-Pop's tackle box and I knew at once that I had to have it. Inside that box held the truth behind all of those big fish stories I had heard so many times over the years. What was he really using to catch these fish (his answer seemed to change every time). What were Pop-Pop's go-to lures? What other secrets did this tackle box hold? The price tag said $50, but I would have gladly paid double. I took it home with great anticipation and carefully cleaned and inventoried its contents. Crazy looking top-water lures with propellers, poppers, in-line spinners, crank baits, plastics, jigs, hooks, sinkers, it had it all, and I couldn't have been more pleased with my purchase. 
Cabin fever has definitely set in for me and I'm sitting here today cursing the cold weather and staring longingly at my boat in the driveway all wrapped up and stowed for the winter. But thanks to Pop-Pop, I also have something to look forward to this spring. I anxiously await the opportunity to try out each and every one of the treasures of his tackle box. I look forward to tossing the lures, cranking the crank-baits, reeling the spinners, and jigging the plastics. I look forward to finding out what works and what doesn't. And most of all, I look forward to lifting a cold one in Pop-Pop's honor as I continue to make memories of my own on OUR Great River.
Here's to a great 2017! Tight lines all.

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Just read on another site the PFBC voted to keep the current regs this year, but to remove the closed season starting in 2018... Anybody else hear this? Kinda bummed they would jump on this already.

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