DENVER – More than 35 states are offering free fishing days on either the first or second weekend in June, meaning no fishing license is required on the specially designated dates, varying on a state-by-state basis.
In most cases, the free fishing days are in honor of National Fishing and Boating Week, June 4 – 12, 2011. The celebration promotes fishing and boating as fun ways for families to reconnect through recreation on the water. The no-license-required opportunity allows individuals a chance to test-drive the sport for free.
As many as 47 states offer free fishing days, but some hold theirs at other times of the year. A listing of free fishing days, by state, can be found on thewww.TakeMeFishing.org web site. However, it is recommended to also contact each specific state in advance before participating should any additional restrictions apply.
Eagle Claw Fishing Tackle is a longtime supporter of summertime youth fishing events, often donating hooks and related accessories for organized activities.
“Since our beginning in 1925, our company has recognized the importance of introducing new anglers to the fun of fishing,” said Chris Russell, Eagle Claw’s marketing director. “My personal challenge to every angler out there is take someone fishing who has never been before, and keep the outing simple. There’s no substitute for experience, even when it comes to showing another how to tie a hook to fishing line and put a worm on it.”
Russell also suggests having the expert inspect the tackle before ever leaving the house. In many cases, first-timers borrow rods and reels from family members or neighbors, and sometimes the gear just isn’t up to par for beginners.
“The most common problem with reels not casting properly is because they are low on fishing line,” he explained. “Again, experienced anglers can help with selecting and spooling line, and it’s easier to do that in advance than on the water.”
Russell says to include the novice-angling parents and kids in the re-spooling process, making them aware of fill levels and line care. “Most people aren’t aware that regular fishing line can stay in the environment for hundreds of years, so snarled lines can’t just be cut off and discarded on the bank. Eagle Claw is making a concerted effort now to educate anglers and non-anglers alike about picking up and carrying home old fishing line for proper disposal. We’re recommending use of our biodegradable fishing line – bioline® – as a reliable alternative for re-spooling whenever possible. Bioline biodegrades in five years, as opposed to 600 years like typical monofilament.”
In fact, Russell and many of his Eagle Claw associates have lots of good fishing tips based on their own fishing experiences, as well as from having been involved with youth and family fishing events over the years. As a result, they have assembled the following tips for families who will be embarking on their first fishing trip during free fishing days or sometime this summer, to make the experience memorable and something they want to do together again.
Eagle Claw’s tips for a fun and successful summer family fishing day
Dress the kids appropriately in light-colored clothing to keep cool, and take caps or other head covering for them.
Don’t take your rod and reel; spend this day only helping the kids fish.
Kid tackle should be size appropriate and easy to use.
For hooks, a good all-around choice is a #6 gold Eagle Claw Aberdeen long-shank hook.
For sinkers, go light, usually a small pinch-on/off split shot is plenty (Eagle Claw makes an environmentally friendly non-lead split shot).
If a bobber is appropriate, think small. Usually a one-inch diameter is a good size.
For bait, it’s hard to beat live worms. If buying them, go with the trout or panfish size.
Start with places close to home, even if a neighborhood or city park pond.
Take drinking water, non-melting snacks, sunscreen and bug spray.
Keep the outing fun; let the kids do the casting and reeling.
Be conscious of water safety, avoiding steep or slick banks.
Moist towelettes are a handy take-along, providing easy cleanup of hands and face.
Accept the fact that kids do get distracted easily. Take a break from fishing as needed.
Teach respect for the environment. Take a trash bag and help the kids pick up the area before leaving.
For more information regarding family how and where to fish, visit www.TakeMeFishing.org.
For more information on Eagle Claw “Fish Green” products, visit www.biolinefishing.com. Also, follow us on Facebook for more fishing tips.