Fishing. You know – that sport that requires quiet, patience and many times leaves you empty-handed even after hours of trying to catch “the big one?” That’s all fine and good, right? I have always enjoyed fishing – it’s peaceful and relaxing.
Oh but wait. Now I have a kid.
Kids are pretty much not quiet and most certainly not very patient. (If your kid defies this stereotype, kudos.)
Lily has been asking to go fishing for a couple years now and we decided earlier this summer to take her for the first time. Rather than go the traditional route – the sitting for hours on the bank of a lake or river – we found a very interesting alternative about and hour from our house. We headed out to the Paradise Fishing Preserve in Cresco, PA.
Paradise Fishing Preserve is part pay lake, part fish hatchery. The small lake (in the first picture) on the left is a bass lake. The larger lake on the right is a trout lake.
Here’s the deal – you pay to enter. Adults are $2.50/each, seniors are $2/each and kids 12 and under are FREE (must have an adult present). Bring your own rods and tackle OR rent equipment for $6 plus tax.
These lakes are STOCKED with big, homegrown fish. While I certainly can’t guarantee that you will catch a single fish, the odds are (ever) in your favor.
You take the fish that you catch – NO throw backs. You pay for your fish based on their live weight (before being gutted/cleaned). Bass are $8.25 per pound and trout are $6.25 per pound.
We bought bait (worms) for about $2/container. I am pretty sure you can bring your own bait if you prefer – though their website does say no live minnows.
After about an hour, Lily had reeled in 2 fish! (The first one was caught almost immediately after casting her line into the lake… the second fish took a little longer to hook!)
As you catch your fish, you can collect them in large buckets (the lake has a bunch of them – you can borrow one for free). After you pay for your catch, you have the option of taking your fish home as is (they will bag them for you) OR you can have them cleaned, gutted and filleted for a small fee.
I don’t even remember being charged for the cleaning/filleting – but their website now lists the following prices for these services – gutting ($.25/fish) & filleting ($.50/fish). That’s SUPER cheap – and those kids did a GREAT job with our two trout! We tipped them a few dollars for a job well done.
You can prepare your fish in a variety of ways… pan fry it, bake it, broil it, grill it, etc. We threw some lemon dill marinade on ours and broiled it.
No compensation was given for writing this review – funding came from our own piggy bank. We found out about this lake from a friend’s recommendation (thanks, Roger)!