Meadville Tribune


August 23, 2007

Go fish

Today's Bass Classic showcases lake's underwater treasure

August 24, 2007 — Conneaut Lake is an all-around gem in Pennsylvania’s vast collection of bodies of water.

And it is well known that the largest natural lake in the commonwealth is great for recreation, as can be seen with a quick glance at the convoy of boats swirling around its perimeter on any weekend this time of year.

But while the 947-acre surface area is a playground for summer vacationers, underneath is where the real treasures lie.

The diversity and number of fish in this glacial body of water is remarkable, bringing anglers an opportunity to be successful regardless of skill or technique.

Divers have told horror stories of brushes with the log-like, monster muskellunge which reside in the depths of Conneaut, proving there is not only numbers, but plenty of size.

The current state record muskellunge (54 pounds, 3 ounces) and white bass (3 pounds, 14 ounces) were harvested in Conneaut, but it is also renowned for its excellent smallmouth and largemouth catch.

Today marks the Third Annual United Way Bass Classic Team Tournament at Conneaut Lake, a fundraiser which has been basically dominated by the team of Channellock-sponsored Bassmaster Elite Series Pro angler and Guys Mills resident Paul Hirosky and Meadville resident and amateur Jon DeArment.

The duo placed first in the rough 2005 conditions with 15.75 pounds, and squeaked by Bryan Stuyvesant and Jared Kurtz last year with 23.89 pounds.

It’s a new year, and everyone will be gunning for Hirosky’s crown on his home lake.

“There’s been quite a few guys out practicing,” he said Thursday. “I’ve only been out here a few times this year. It’s anybody’s game.”

In 2006, Hirosky landed the tournament lunker, weighing in at a massive eight pounds, six ounces — the state record is 11-3.

Three hundred sixty-four days later, it is still a mystery where that fish was caught.

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