The sport of fishing has long been one of the most popular activities in the United States. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department encourages anglers of all ages to head out to the nearest body of water and make some fishing memories.
Whether looking for quality time with family, friends, or oneself, fishing may be one of the best pastimes for connecting with people. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has started new programs to encourage communities to get out on the water and cast out a line.
Fishing can definitely be a family activity. “Being on the water provides an excellent opportunity to teach kids about their environment, and boating, fishing and safety skills,” according to Takemefishing.org. In order to make the most of fishing trips with children, the website suggests making children feel included on family boating trips by giving them small responsibilities, such as ensuring that everyone has a personal floatation device or teaching them to coil a line.
More tips on fishing with children include investing in a smaller rod and reel combo that is easier for kids to utilize, using light lines and small hooks and cutting bait into small pieces that fit the size of the hook.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has also started a program called Neighborhood Fishin’, which strives to make the sport of fishing more available to people in larger cities. “For Texans who live in urban areas, this program offers fishing opportunities close to home,” according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife website. “Texas Parks and Wildlife Department works in partnership with local governments to stock channel catfish and rainbow trout in small neighborhood lakes.” For more information about the Neighborhood Fishin’ program, go to www.neighborhoodfishin.org.
Despite fishing licenses being required to fish in all other public waters, Texas state parks are now waving licensing and stamp fees through the program Free Fishing in State Parks in order to invite the public to fish. “Free Fishing in State Parks is designed to encourage more people to get out and enjoy the great sport of fishing,” according to the Texas State Parks and Wildlife Department website. “It is our hope that everyone will want to share in the countless memories that can be created out on the water.” Excluding licensing and stamp requirements, other park entry fees and state fishing regulations are still in effect when visiting state parks.
For more information on state fishing limits and regulations, buying a fishing license, and other fishing topics, visit www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fishboat/fish/.