Are you interested in fishing, either alone or with your children, but don't know where to start? An experienced woman angler, outdoors expert and blogger and mother of two shares her best tips on how to get started.
I can think of nothing more enjoyable than a day spent fishing.
But if you are new to the sport of angling, it can be overwhelming trying to decide where to fish and also determining what gear is needed.
Luckily, there are various organizations that will not only loan you the gear, but many also offer workshops and training seminars that take the novice angler and teach them all about fishing.
Ladies, Lets Go Fishing
Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing (LLGF) is an organization that is dedicated to teaching women all about fishing.
LLGF was started in 1997 by Betty Bauman when she noticed a lack of opportunities for women to learn how to fish.
Today she has taught over 8,000 women through her award-winning seminars dubbed the “No-Yelling School of Fishing.”
These are weekend seminars taught by leading industry professionals that combine classroom learning and hands-on application of skills on the water. The seminars cover topics such as casting, fileting fish, backing a truck and trailer, lure selection and boat handling.
According to LLGF’s website, “[LLGF] is the largest organization in the world whose objective is to introduce women to fishing.” Although the organization mainly caters to women, male participants are also welcome to join.
Future Angler Foundation
Future Angler Foundation (FAF) is another organization whose mission is to “recruit and develop new anglers and boaters.”
FAF was formed in April 2012 by a group of anglers who wanted to encourage angling and boating through education and outreach.
Although FAF is a grass-roots approach, they support organizations that host angling events by providing rod/reels, educational handouts and promotional items at no charge.
FAF has no paid employees and relies on funding through various grants, contributions and donations from the public and businesses.
FAF also worked with Discover Mediaworks to create a video series called “Getting Families Fishing” that targets grade school and middle school-aged children. This series airs on PBS.
Local Department of Natural Resources or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services
Finally, check out your local Department of Natural Resources or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services website under the Aquatic Education tab.
One of the state-sponsored programs is the Fishing Tackle Loaner Program like this one in South Carolina.
This program is like a library checkout system for fishing equipment.
After registering at one of your state’s Tackle Loaner Program (TLP) sites, you will receive a card that allows you to check out gear on-site such as a rod/reel combo and a tackle box.
If the participant is under the age of 16, many sites will give the borrower a free mini tackle box. A selection of sites also offers additional information such as knot tying, rigging a line, and offer assistance on what type of bait to use.
Adaptive gear is also available but may need to be requested in advance.
The Department Of Natural Resources
Finally, under the Aquatic Education tab on your state's DNR website (if available) is a list of Family Fishing Clinics.
These clinics are introductory classes geared towards anyone age 4 and above who is interested in learning to fish.
These clinics focus on teaching skills such as knot tying, rigging a rod and reel, casting and hands-on fishing. These seminars are also divided into freshwater instruction and saltwater instruction, where available.
If you are unsure where to begin your angling education, it’s always easier to start with a knowledgeable instructor.
Check out one of these above-mentioned organizations for you or someone you know to become an avid angler.
There are few things more enjoyable outdoors than fishing!