Regional Reports-East

Pinchot Lake

"Pinchot" is a name that bass aficionados should know. According to local waterways conservation officer Dave Keller, the 340-acre Pinchot Lake in York County "has higher numbers of largemouth bass than any other lake in south-central Pennsylvania." And because it is enrolled in the state's Big Bass program, which holds anglers to stricter size and creel limits, Pinchot's bucketmouths tend to be bigger, too. "I'd say the lake has the best populations of large fish," says Keller. The biggest bass to come out of Pinchot Lake in recent times is a 10 lb. 4 oz. fish. The state record is an 11 lb. 3 oz. fish. Keller says the bigger bass are caught by anglers who concentrate on the edges of the weed beds. Blue and silver Rat-L-Traps are a main lure. Plunking a big, live shiner into "potholes" of open water within the surface growth is another effective tactic. The lake's bass are most likely to go after surface offerings early in the day and at dusk. Boats may use electric motors only. Take Route 83 from York to Route 177. Pinchot Lake is off Route 177. Contact: Gifford Pinchot State Park (717-432-5011; gpinchot@dcnr.state. pa.us); Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, South-Central Region Office (717-626-0228).