Karen Gainey’s Fishing Tips

By Jacob Tumminello, Communications Intern

Karen Gainey might as well have been born with a rod and reel in her hands. Since she was four years old Gainey has loved fishing and challenges herself to accumulate and share as much knowledge as possible. She is a certified instructor for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, has hosted her own fishing television show, and has fished in professional tournaments.

“Someone once asked me how passionate about fishing I really am, and I told them I’d be catching fish in my bathtub if I thought there was a way” said Karen.

Originally from Detroit, Karen knew something about fishing rivers but, after hearing stories of the poor quality of Pittsburgh’s waterways, she was hesitant when approached to assist in setting up a fishing program here.

“As far as I was concerned the rivers were too polluted from the steel mills to fish. I mean you can still walk along the shores of Riverside Park where some kids like to swim and see the oil line”

After fishing Pittsburgh’s waterways for 25 years, Karen claims the rivers are clearer than ever and continue to improve. With an environment now suited for fishing, TriAnglers was formed 17 years ago and has provided Pittsburgh residents with a unique opportunity to catch fish for free while also learning about the rivers. And when it comes to fishing, Karen is a wellspring of knowledge.

She begins by explaining Pittsburgh’s unique river junction where the Allegheny and the Monongahela form the Ohio, a hot spot where the TriAnglers first began experiencing success.

“We started fishing at the Point because, when the water is high, a pocket of quiet water forms where the rivers meet. The higher the water, the higher the concentration of fish”

Pittsburgh offers anglers three different rivers to choose from, each with its own qualities which regularly provide a different fishing experience each time. The Allegheny is generally clearer than the Monongahela, although Karen claims not to rule out the potential for monster-sized fish to lurk in the murkier of the two rivers.

“If you’re looking for bigger catfish, they’ll probably be in the Mon. I’ve personally caught catfish that hung from my waist to the ground when lifted”

Catfish aren’t the only monster-sized fish who call these rivers home. Karen also recalls reeling in 10- pound stripers as well as large musky, walleye, and carp. She says the important thing to remember with river fishing is accounting for how far fish tend to travel.

“The difference is that the big fish move up and down the river, so you won’t find the same fish repeatedly in one spot. This depends on the conditions of the river including temperature, water levels, and PH levels. You never really know what you’re going to catch!”

Karen cites the Kinzu Dam as another hotspot, especially for smallmouth bass.

“Below the Kinzu Dam are fast currents with many rock piles where you can catch smallmouth bass until your arms fall off!”

Another spot which boasts some of the most concentrated areas of continuous fish is just below the Alcosan outflow. Alcosan is responsible for much of the restorative efforts of Pittsburgh’s rivers and produces extremely clear water which Karen explains is a thriving ecosystem for fish. Unfortunately, there is no way to access the Alcosan outflow without a boat.

“I would rather be fishing the river from a boat anyway, but if we could get the state and Alcosan to put in a fishing dock, even a quarter mile away from the outflow, people could still experience phenomenal fishing.”

From day one Karen and the TriAnglers program have educated Pittsburghers on the rejuvenated rivers while providing an enjoyable and accessible fishing experience. Participants are treated to a break from the day’s monotony by relaxing outdoors and catching fish.

“Fishing at lunch time is perfect because tons of people walk by here on their lunch breaks anyway. We frequently have people in business clothing passing by, and we handle all the messy stuff for them while they still get the thrill of catching a fish before returning to work.”

There are still plenty of fascinating things to learn from Karen and all of our TriAnglers. Stop by our tent underneath the Roberto Clemente bridge each Wednesday between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to rediscover Pittsburgh’s waterways and enjoy free fishing!

Posted in Uncategorized

OUTDOOR News

  • A Trip to Iceland

    June 20, 2017

    By Alex Downing, Communications Intern

     

    One of the most mesmerizing things about nature is that no matter where you come from or where you have been, there is always somewhere more exotic, somewhere wilder for you to explore. You hiked the Amazon and summitted Everest? Congrats, but what about the Outback or Kilimanjaro? There is so much natural beauty in so many forms that even the most well-traveled of us can always find some location more amazing than the last.

    Growing up in the comforts of suburban Pittsburgh with a few acres of woods surrounding my house,

     » Read more about: A Trip to Iceland  »

  • Karen Gainey’s Fishing Tips

    June 13, 2017

    By Jacob Tumminello, Communications Intern

    Karen Gainey might as well have been born with a rod and reel in her hands. Since she was four years old Gainey has loved fishing and challenges herself to accumulate and share as much knowledge as possible. She is a certified instructor for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, has hosted her own fishing television show, and has fished in professional tournaments.

    “Someone once asked me how passionate about fishing I really am, and I told them I’d be catching fish in my bathtub if I thought there was a way” said Karen.

     » Read more about: Karen Gainey’s Fishing Tips  »

  • The Steel City Oasis

    June 6, 2017

    By: Jacob Tumminello, Communications Intern 

    Although Pittsburgh created its legacy primarily in the steel industry, those familiar with the drastic improvement in the quality of its waters will tell you that the rivers are home to a wide variety of large and small fish. Pittsburghers are often unaware of the quality fishing available in the area. Throughout the years anglers have taken advantage of the many popular fishing spots, allowing for enjoyable recreational outings and a great fishing experience.

    The rivers of Pittsburgh experienced a dramatic decrease in pollution following cleanup efforts after the steel mills closed and now provide a stable ecosystem for freshwater life.

     » Read more about: The Steel City Oasis  »

  • Getting to Know our Staff… 13 Questions with Jayme Penner

    May 30, 2017

    We are continuing our staff spotlight series. There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes brain power that goes into planning your favorite programs, be it public, family-friendly, or custom outings. Learn about those who work inside so you can get outside.

    This week we’ll be interviewing Jayme Penner, our Membership and Special Projects Coordinator.

    1. Briefly tell us about your background: where did you grow up, where did you go to school, and what brought you to Venture Outdoors?
    I grew up in Pittsburgh. I went to Chatham University and majored in Business. For a short time period,

     » Read more about: Getting to Know our Staff… 13 Questions with Jayme Penner  »

  • Rediscovering Nature beneath the Soles of My Sneakers

    May 16, 2017

    By: Cheyenne Knight

    When I signed up for my first half marathon, I vowed to train entirely outdoors. I knew that climbing on a treadmill day after day to stare at the same patch of grass, the same residence hall, and the same students walking to class for four months of training would take all the fun out of it.

    So I vowed to train outdoors, even if that meant enduring weather that I never ran in and exploring parts of Pittsburgh that I never saw before. I took it as an opportunity to challenge myself mentally, physically,

     » Read more about: Rediscovering Nature beneath the Soles of My Sneakers  »

Kayak Pittsburgh

Kayak Pittsburgh North Shore is today (6/26) due to high water flow.
#KeepPittsburghPaddling

 

 

Get your 2017 Season Pass!

Featured Outing

Summer Solstice Hike
Wednesday, June 21
7 – 9:30 PM

Join us for an evening of exploration on an easy 3-4 mile hike around Hartwood Acres. On the longest day of the year, we will enjoy the tranquility of the woods, while listening for the critters that become active at dusk.


SIGN UP HERE!