Go Fishing Day: Tips for Rookie Anglers

go-fishing-dayFather’s Day is this weekend and, coincidentally or not, so is Go Fishing Day. Fishing is one of those bonding activities worthy of a father-child tradition, but it’s an activity that requires a certain amount of planning. If you have plans for fishing on Go Fishing Day or Father’s Day, here’s what you need to know before you cast your line.

License Every state has different rules and regulations for fishing. They’re put in place to protect our land and water and to keep nature balanced. Most, if not all, states require a fishing license. It’s only a matter of purchasing the license at a retail store that provides them or online, but each state may have different requirements for different ages and purposes. Contact your state’s Department of Natural Resources or Fish and Wildlife department for the specifics.

When Figuring out when you can fish may be tricky. You may be able to fish year-round, but you may not be able to pluck out any fish, anywhere to take home. In places like Minnesota, there are certain periods in which you can catch certain fish. For instance, you can fish for largemouth bass from May 23 to February 28, but only from south and west of Highway 53 between Duluth to International Falls, but not in Pelican Lake or Ash Lake. It can be very complicated, so know what you can fish, when and where you can do that.go-fishing-day

Size You have to pay attention to the size of the fish you’re pulling out of the water — if you want to take them home. Each state has restrictions of the size of the fish you can keep. On the Hudson River in New York, you can take home one striped bass per day if it’s 18” to 28” or one fish that’s less than 40”. Do your homework before you start planning your summer barbecue menu.

You Don’t Have to Take Fish Home If you’re just interested in having a bonding experience with dad rather than a fish fry, you can always partake in catch and release. However, catch and release is meant to keep fish alive and healthy, so you have to be careful: 1) make sure you’re not releasing a fish from the top of a bridge so it has to survive a 30 foot drop 2) be aware of the hooks you’re using. Single hooks are better for a fish’s survival than a treble hook and use hooks that don’t have barbs — you can file them down or bend them with pliers 3) Use needle nose pliers to remove hooks from the fish you couldn’t remove with your hands. 4) keep them in the water — they need it to stay alive!

go-fishing-dayIf you’re going fishing for the first time, it may seem a little complicated, but it’s worth the trip out to the lake for an outdoor adventure. All you really need are a rod, reel, line, bait, and something to sit on for a few hours. It’s a summer adventure you should try at least once in your life — and it’ll be all the more better with dad.

Whether you go fishing with dad on Father’s Day or you have an extraordinary cookout planned, shop The Lakeside Collection for all your summer fun essentials.

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