At a glance:
- Sparky is the founder & guide for Trophy Guide Service Inc
- Has to his credit 1,000's of citation size fish
- Holds four state record stripers over a 20 year span
- Has been interviewed by many local and national magazines
- Has appeared on numerous TV shows
- Has local and national tournament winnings
- Is the most recognized name in catching stripers on Raystown Lake
Sparky Price was born and raised in the Raystown Lake area. In the “old days”, Sparky fished and hunted the Raystown river with a burning passion for the outdoors. During the development of the “new” Raystown lake in the late 1960's he feared all his outdoor activities would soon be under water and lost forever. The hills and fencerows that he walked in hunting season would soon be 150 ft below the surface of the dam. During the construction period, access was limited to the waters edge and powerboats were not allowed. Sparky would paddle a small boat with his dad to find places to hunt ducks or catch a bass in the new rising water. These memories would last a lifetime but the future was looking very bright indeed with new expectations. Raystown Lake reopened in the early 1970's and lots of exciting things were happening. Many people were interested in fishing the lake but fishing boats were primitive and most everyone new nothing about fishing a lake of this size. In the 70's, educational media was limited at best. Early fisherman targeted bass because it was the new and upcoming sport. Local clubs were established to give fisherman a platform to communicate and teach eachother about fishing. Sparky lived minutes from the lake and spent countless hours fishing and learning with each experience. Something was about to change his focus and take it to a new unexpected level.
Stripers, Striped Bass, Rock Fish, whatever you choose to call them, were being introduced to Raystown Lake . Stripers are native saltwater fish that live in both fresh and saltwater like salmon. Hatcheries were rapidly turning out fish in the 1960's and introducing Striped Bass to some of the largest and most recognized lakes in the country. Raystown just happened to fit the profile to maintain a stocking effort, but was kind of a trial bases without the wide spread attention the large southern or midwest lakes received. Early Stripers were hard to target but could be caught on bass equipment using bass fishing techniques. The locals that had an opportunity to fish daily were a tightlipped group and clearly had an advantage to putting these fish in the boat with any consistency. When these fish became 10 lb on average it became Sparky's target and passion because of the tackle busting fight not experienced with anything else from the lake. The future looked bright when early fish commission reports suggested Stripers in Raystown lake could reach the 25 lb class under proper conditions.
When Stripers reached record size, nearing 20 lbs, word of these fish started to get outside the immediate area. Sparky caught an early State record Striper that drove his interest to a new high and pushed him to fish every available minute. “Duck” Grubb broke his record quickly and started a daily sleepless quest among very close friends. They fished relentlessly and shared much of their early self-taught methods of catching these fish. Sparky again that spring reclaimed the record. Eventually, Sonny Grubb, brother to "Duck", caught a State Record through the ice. It was this type of excitement that caught the interest of media and many anglers abroad. Striper fishing was the new excitement and most talked about event on Raystown Lake and Sparky was caught up in the middle with some of the earliest headlines.
Since then, Sparky has gone on to fish local tournaments as they became available. Local clubs started to establish with interest in Stripers. Sparky stayed committed to his efforts of catching fish and showed little interest in the political part or the group platform. He fished local events with much success and moved on to tournaments on other popular lakes. Sparky also fished some national tournaments with much success. He proved his techniques to work abroad but also built great relationships with well known anglers of other lakes. Sparky learned several live bait techniques that he would bring home and extend the catching season throughout the year. Over several years, Sparky developed patterns that would be successful year around to boat big fish.
Sparky finally made a commitment to go full-time guiding on Raystown Lake . It was a risky adventure with a family to provide for. He was confident in his ability and was willing to dedicated the money and resources it would take to get a quality full-time guide service off the ground. Many around him, even some of his closest friends, discouraged his efforts and had little vision in his dream. Sparky could feel the public's interest and went on to create Trophy Guide Service, Inc. Raystown Lake 's first full-time guide service with grass roots information and know how. The two State Records to his credit and several big tournament wins made him a must for anyone anxious to catch a Striped Bass.
Sparky has proven that like any business, it is how you persevere that keeps you at the top. Trophy Guide Service, Inc is no exception to confronting highs and lows. The fishery has had good cycles and bad. In the late 1980's, some part time guides struggled to catch fish. Articles surfaced that Raystown Lake was “fished out” and discouraged guided tours. Sparky answered this season long debate in a variety of situations. He explained to outdoor writers that methods were becoming more advanced to stay consistent. “This is all the more reason to hire a professional guide”. Sparky sealed the statements with a third state record near 50 lbs. in June of 1989. Big Stripers were back in the forefront but all the focus on tough conditions for the recreational fisherman promoted major stocking efforts by both the PA Fish Commission and private clubs. Fishing is again at its best since the early days . The latest problem is all the new guides trying to cash in on moderate success. Sparky has made the point that “Anyone with a tackle box and two rods will put out a brochure offering guided trips these days”. Some charters have hired several part-timers to run a full time business. Some have put out brochures that easily mislead customers with State Record information. Trophy Guide Service, Inc is the only Raystown Lake charter to be credited with State record Stripers. Sparky holds today's State Record Striper that weighs over 53 lbs. This accomplishment clearly separates your guide from the competition. Sparky has a four-time accomplishment not repeated by anyone else in the U.S. for any species. Sparky has set a clear example of professional ability and perseverance.
Trophy Guide Service is the most recognized guide on Raystown Lake . His records and taxidermy work has been displayed in many locations. Sparky has fished with thousands of people looking for a great time. Trophy Guide Service has the support of many business owners that provide services to people visiting the area. Please take a second to view the “Thank You” page of this site . Fishing full-time is a unique and demanding business. Building relationships as well as mental and physical ability are as important as getting a fish to bite. Sparky has shared himself in hundreds of paper and magazines articles. He has done public seminars at places such as Cabela's and major sport shows. Trophy Guide Service has been featured in several outdoor TV shows.
As long as people are interested, Trophy Guide Service is ready to go fishing. Sparky admits records are made to be broken and his latest will be broken soon. If you are willing to fish with Trophy Guide Service, it could be you! So quit wishin' and let's go fishin'.