Editor’s Note: We welcome Kenny Garippa, FLW tournament angler and iBass360 Pro Staff, to the iBass360 Blog. Kenny fishes all over the eastern part of the USA and this new feature- Hittin’ The G-Spot- will follow Kenny G’s angling travels and share his tips on catching fish when you get there. Thanks Kenny!
During the late 1800’s, Mr. Henry Silkman decided his pond should be larger. He negotiated with nearby landowners to dam the Jones Creek tributary and flood some of their farmland- Presto change-o, Lake Henry was born from Silkman’s Pond. At the time, the primary purpose of increasing the size of the pond was to establish an ice house. In those early days, a rail line ran between Lake Henry and Scranton carrying people from the city to enjoy a picnic on the banks of beautiful Lake Henry. Legend has it that Silkman was also an avid fisherman who spared no effort to make sure the lake was stocked with all sorts of game fish- largemouth and smallmouth bass, pickerel, crappie, and assorted panfish. To this day, Lake Henry is a popular fishing destination making it our subject G-Spot.
Nestled in Pennsylvania’s Northeast Mountains, the 310 acre Lake Henry is one of the better-kept secrets of the Poconos. It is known by at least two other names. Located near the Village of Maplewood, some call it Maplewood Lake. Some private cottage owners who rent their properties to vacationers call it Blueberry Lake. Henry sits on the border between Wayne and Lackawanna Counties but lies entirely within Wayne County – a fact that confounds some of the residents. Some map programs mark it as somewhere around Lake Ariel and indeed Lake Henry addresses are in the Lake Arial zip code, but Lake Arial is about five miles east of Lake Henry.
Perhaps due to all this confusion, Lake Henry has managed to escape heavy development. Lake Henry is primarily a residential lake, the second largest in the county- after Lake Wallenpaupack. Many homes have existed along the shoreline since Silkman’s Pond was first dammed. Only three to five feet in depth at the south end of the lake, depths reach 30 feet at the north end. The variety of depth and plentiful underwater structure makes the lake prime ground for fishermen to pursue bass.
Lake Henry has a dirt launch accessed through the Clayton Recreational RV Park. They charge a $12.00 launch fee. The lake has no horse power restrictions but it is subject to a number of rules, enforced by the Lake Henry Cottagers Association, the Clayton Park Recreational Park and the PA Fish & Game Commission. Due to hazards, a good portion of the lake is subject to “no wake” regulations. These regulations are extended to the entire lake from sunset to 8:00AM. These are also the lake’s quiet hours in consideration of campers and cottage dwellers. There is no night fishing allowed.
When in the channels, boats with larger motors must be mindful to keep them tilted high so as not to interfere with the aeration system. When it comes to other fishing structure, Henry has scattered standing timber, plenty of grass and residential docks. Henry still has many of the stumps from the original flooding of the area, which make for some of the best natural fish habitat. Some of the areas flooded by the damming of Jones Creek appear to have been peat bogs. This has created the most unusual feature of Lake Henry- floating islands- which are semi-permanent but not firmly attached to the lake bottom. The islands serve as nesting grounds for waterfowl and provide habitat to eagles, herons and a variety of other fishing birds. Please use caution as while the stumps and islands contribute to excellent fish habitat, they also present navigational challenges requiring attention.
While PA Fish & Game limits apply, because of the size of the lake, it is strongly urged that anglers practice catch and release for the preservation of the fishery. The grass and weed edges as well as the plentiful wood, were the primary areas of fishing success during my visit. While quiet mornings would certainly offer a top water bite, and there would certainly be opportunity for taking fish with spinnerbaits and chatter baits, we landed our fish using Power Team Lures Craw D and Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver soft plastics. Skirmish M9 Square Bills were also used. Ardent Rods and Reels were our weapons of choice and we proved these to be some of the very best on the market today. Our fish ranged from 2 ½ to 6 lbs.-. all swimming free to be caught another day.
Much of the shoreline, including the dam, is privately owned. Although the waters of Lake Henry are public property, be respectful when casting near others boats, docks and land. Clayton Recreational RV Park maintains the launch and small camping resort along the west shore. If you stay overnight with family, the campground/resort acts as a social center with campfire music nights, outdoor movies, a nature education series, and activities for children. There is a hose at the boat ramp to help protect the lake from invasive weeds so please rinse on the inbound and outbound. If you are looking for a quiet lake with the potential for a solid chunk on most casts, hit this G-Spot and Live the Passion!
iBass360 Pro Staff member, Kenny Garippa from Pocono Summit PA. is an FLW touring professional fishing for Team Toyota Scion. Kenny is already Living the Passion and contributing to the iBass360 Blog. Kenny organizes tournaments and is most recently looking for Boaters to take First Responders fishing in a tournament on Lake Wallenpaupack. Contact Kenny Garippa Fishing at https://www.facebook.com/kenny.garippa