Editor’s Note: This is first in a series by iBass360 Anglers highlighting their home waters or favorite fisheries.
We all have our frustrations with social media, but one of its best features is the ability to share information with, and learn from, fellow fishermen. Of course a lot of people are deathly afraid their “secret spot” will become the worst kept secret on the net, but I want to tell you all about my favorite fishing holes. Ever since I was a young boy my grandmother took me to a local, private campground called Penn Warner in Tulleytown PA, in the area of William Penn’s Manor. These lakes are a tribute to the reclamation efforts of Waste Management. Today Penn Warner Club is a private, protected, year-round facility offering members a wide variety of outdoor recreation activities in a natural environment. It is managed for the rich variety of flora and fauna serving first as a hunting and fishing center, it continues to operate as a recreational boating, campground and fishing retreat. The club offers around 2,000 acres of three sparkling, freshwater lakes. Family and individual memberships are available. There are actually three lakes within Penn Warner- named Manor, Morrisville, and Van Sciver.
So first let’s look at Manor, a shallow lake filled with weeds, lily pads, wood laydowns
and bushes along the shorelines. This lake is 441 acres, and anglers can expect to catch a variety of fish including Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike, Walleye, White Bass and White Crappie. There are a couple ledges in the lake with rock on them. The deepest part of the lake is 18 ft, but the average depth is 4-8 ft. I cut my teeth bass fishing on this lake with a black and blue jig flipping into the many pads and skipping it under the heavy underbrush along the shoreline. This was my typical summer pattern from June until September since school was out, fishing was in. When I graduated from school, my friend Bill got me involved with tournaments, and showed me how to catch fish in the other, cooler months of the year using Jerk Baits and Jigs. Yes, in those days I lived and died with a black and blue with the no. 11 Uncle Josh pork trailer in my hand- it caught a lot of fish!
The tournament angling brought me to the Bucks County Anglers Club and resulted in me learning the rest of the lakes in Penn Warner. Morrisville Lake is a work in progress. They have been doing dredging as long as I remember. It has depths up to 50 feet, and the bottom contours represent more of a giant bowl with average depths around 20 feet. It is generally a clear lake with lots of ledges, rock piles, humps, and even a few grassy humps. So I fished this lake here and there and it is where I figured out how to read electronics. With electronics, I expanded my bag of tricks by adding a drop shot and deep diving plugs. It may be hard to believe but I also found that the old Jig and pig still worked on the bass in Morrisville, especially when the water temperature gets up over 48 degrees. Something magical would happen every spring when those bass came from the depths and started cruising the rocky drops along the shorelines. It is one of those things that happen where you can catch over 50 fish in a day. In those days, there were aa few tournaments with a 3 fish limit. I would weigh-in between 13-15 lbs taking home a few wins. I pretty much had that lake dialed in!
The last lake, Van Sciver, is a mid-range rocky lake with an average depth of 12- 15 ft. and a max depth close to 30 ft. The lake is 1,396 acres, and has respectable populations of Largemouth Bass, Muskellunge, Northern Pike, Smallmouth Bass and Walleye. There are many humps, ledges, and a few weed flats. There is a mix of largemouth and smallies in this one. This lake follows all the basic lake rules. In Spring you go to the Jerk Bait, the worms or my time tested jig. Along the banks, as summer comes, you can catch them on a lot of different baits. There is good off shore structure too, which you definitely want to work in the fall/winter with the appropriate deep structure bait. This lake also shines using an A-Rig- a more recent discovery for me. Van Sciver will show you the definition of “fall blitz”. If you get a nice sunny, windy day on this lake it can be lights out! This time of year I actually forget the jig. My biggest bag came on January 5, 2015 when my 3-fish limit hit the scale at 18-15! The anchor was a 7-4 largemouth and all three hit the Alabama Rig. For perfect A-Rig conditions, just find a windy shoreline check your graph for baitfish and start casting. The results can be amazing.
So, as the song says, these are a few of my favorite lakes. Even though it is private, word has spread that these are great lakes for families and celebs alike- right Ike? What I know for sure is that these lakes have helped me become a more diversified fisherman. A bass angler, especially one fishing tournaments, needs to know shallow lakes, medium lakes and deep lakes and learn to love them all. Having a set of favorite or “go to” lakes should mean that when you go to a new lake and check out the map, you can reference areas that look similar to your lakes and by comparing, make a winning plan. It has helped me Live the Passion well so far!
iBass360 Pro Staff, Nick Ferry is the People’s Champ. He brings his easy, friendly manner to every aspect of his fishing- Blogs, Vlogs, and all his tournament activities. Nick is from Feasterville PA outside Philadelphia. He is an accomplished club tournament angler have received numerous honors from the Bucks County Anglers Club and the Peace Valley Bass Anglers. as well as other local tournament series. Nick is pro staff for Ardent Reels, Forge Lures, Kistler Rods and Zee Bait Co.