Last month I spent time casting lures and catching bass on a 40-acre lake in rural Lancaster,- with Steve Alexander of Private Water Fishing - sort of like a big country club for anglers.
"Forty-five lakes in the club, spread out throughout the state about thirty of those within a two-hour drive of the metroplex," Steve told me. "We manage the fishing pressure to keep the fishing good. We typically don't fish a lake more than two times a week.
"When you reserve a lake with private water fishing, you're the only one on the property. You have the entire property to your self. That's the one thing we guarantee our members. We call
But there are times on the private lakes when Steve's work gets a little noisy. And, he showed me that too, firing up a generator and dangling wires off the front of the boat, stunning fish to the surface.
"This is a process called electro-shocking. It throws an electrical current in the water . The fish are stunned, they float to the top or near the top and we scoop them out."
The fish are only temporarily stunned -- it's a way of surveying the numbers and the health of the fish population.
All part of the ongoing effort to keep fisherman -- and the landowners happy.
"Of course nobody would do this without income, but in addition to the income we help with lake management. We do things like fertilization, keeping the lake fertile. We add habitat, which is typically adding brush piles and we also add forage fish into the lake to keep the lake healthy."
Electro-fishing proved the lake in Lancaster is healthy. Lots of bass -- and more importantly lots of the smaller fish they feed on.
Private Lake Fishing is generally catch and release -- but members are encouraged to harvest bass on about half the lakes.
"We release all the big fish. The fish we're taking out are 14 inches and smaller."
Encouraging the growth of the big trophy bass -- the angler's chance of catching one.
"Oh, yeah, your odds go way up fishing a private piece of water versus a public piece of water. The fish just don't see the (fishing) pressure. We call them kind of dumb fish."
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