Fishing family

Fishing can be great fun for the whole family, regardless of skill level.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was originally published by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

COLUMBUS -- Fishing isn't just a great way to spend time with friends and family outdoors, it's also an inexpensive and ethical way to eat fresh, wild-caught fish.

If you're not sure where to start, here's some helpful hints. All you need are a few pieces of basic gear and a nearby pond or lake.

Basics of fishing in Ohio information is outlined below, and you can also get started learning with our interactive Introduction to Fishing online learning module.

This content (in the ODNR link at the top) covers the basics, including fish ecology, rules and regulations, an overview of fishing, and places to fish … all at your own pace. A fact sheet, outdoor skills YouTube videos, and other resources are also available.

After reviewing introductory information, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources encourages you to attend a virtual or in-person learning opportunity with friendly and knowledgeable staff for hands-on experience.

Fun for the Whole Family

Introducing children to fishing can be a rewarding experience. To ensure a positive experience, these are some simple items to keep in mind:

-- Have fun. Seeing your child enjoy reeling in their first fish is rewarding. (Take pictures!)

-- Target areas with a high likelihood of success. Most kids are satisfied catching lots of smaller fish such as bluegills rather than catching fewer, bigger fish such as bass. Catching a few fish on the first few outings will peak children’s interest and make them look forward to the next trip.

-- Use live bait to increase the chance of catching a fish. Live bait is also more interesting for children.

-- Pick a place that is easy to get to, comfortable and safe.

-- Bring snacks, sunscreen, insect repellent and first aid basics. This will make your trip comfortable for everyone.

-- Provide them with simple tackle in working order. Nothing can be more discouraging to a child than complicated equipment or equipment that doesn't work. Consider giving the child their own fishing outfit. This gesture is practical because short rods are easier for kids to handle.

-- Above all else, have patience. You will be unsnagging lines, baiting hooks and landing fish for them often. On your fishing trips with youngsters, they will get dirty, fall down or even get a little wet. By taking time to introduce children to fishing, you may end up with a fishing buddy for life.

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