Catch one really special fish in a season’s time and you’ve had yourself a year to remember.
Thirteen-year-old Austin Aikins of Lower Burrell is already at two.
The seventh grader at Burrell Middle School was fishing Plum Creek on April 19, the day after opening day of trout season, when he landed a 22-inch golden rainbow. That’s pretty cool, by any standard.
But then, on April 28, he topped that.
Fishing the Allegheny River in the area of Kelly Station, he caught a 50-inch musky that had a 22-inch girth.
And what did the avid fisherman catch it on? That’s his secret.
Other readers, meanwhile, have been doing well on the water and in the woods, too.
Brian McCaslin of the North Hills spent opening weekend of trout season fishing from his camp in Tionesta. On the Monday after the opener, he caught his best fish, a 19-inch, 4-pound brook trout that came from Salmon Creek.
Riley Stephens of Plum, meanwhile, took her first trout ever this year. The 7-year-old got out for the mentored youth trout day, but only got a catfish while at Northmoreland Park.
She went back out on the regular opening day with his dad Justin Stephans, and grandfather, Greg Stephans, of Monroeville. Fishing Turtle Creek, she caught three brown trout, and now plans to be a regular with her dad and granddad each year.
Jackie Graf of Pittsburgh enjoyed a first this year, too. The 15-year-old shot his first spring gobbler during the state’s one-day youth gobbler season.
He bagged a jake with a 3-inch beard in Indiana Township, Allegheny County, with the help of his dad, Jack, and his “extended family,” Raoul “Rap” Rapneth.
Austin Aikins with his monster musky.
Aikins with a 22-inch golden rainbow from Plum Creek.
Brian McCaslin with his 4-pound brook trout.
Riley Stephans with her first trout, a Turtle Creek brown.
Jackie Graf is all smiles after bagging his first gobbler.