Free kids fishing clinics taking place around Wisconsin on Saturday, April 12
The 35th annual free spring fishing clinics are scheduled from 9 a.m. through 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 12, allowing kids 15 and under to wet a line, get some fishing education, and even fill their bellies.
While these Wisconsin DNR clinics are free, people are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item for the Hunger Task Force, which will distribute the goods to participating areas in the community.
For locations and more information, click here.
Jean Tackes, vice-president of the Woman’s Hunting and Sporting Association (WHSA), said that the group is happy to help out with the event.
“We support and encourage participation in all outdoor activities and sponsoring a spring fishing clinic allows us to help promote the learning of a life-time outdoor skill: fishing,” she said. “Our purpose is to support and encourage women and children in outdoor activities such as fishing, hunting, archery and shooting sports, share knowledge and experience of outdoor skills and wildlife conservation, strive in promoting women’s interest in outdoor sports, now and in the future.”
Equipment will be provided at the event, but kids may bring their own gear if they wish. Aside from catching some fish, there will be classes on safety, knot tying, equipment, and techniques. Some locations will also have cooking demonstrations.
“Parents are welcome to stay,” Tackes said. “And if they’re bringing a young child, we prefer they do stay. Besides, they may learn something, too.”
WHSA has been involved in the program for 20 years, with 12 of them being spent at Muskego Park. While gear is provided at the event, it’s not a bad idea to bring your own if it’s handy.
“We provide DNR rods for use, but when fishing, it’s easier if you have your own rod and reel,” Tackes said. “We do supply bait.”
Most locations will be serving the kids some grub, too, and Muskego is no exception.
“Each participant receives a ticket for a free hot dog, soda and chips,” Tackes said.
While the event is intended to get new kids interested in fishing, young anglers don’t have to be strictly greenhorns to participate.
“All experience levels can get something out of the clinics, whether it’s learning new rules, remembering the palomar knot, getting some casting practice or reeling in a live fish,” Tackes said. “Besides, it’s a great opportunity to win a rod and reel.”
The free fishing clinics are a great opportunity for adults to introduce kids to fishing with very little skin in the game. Spread the word about these clinics because the more people we have fishing, the more power we have when it comes to keeping the sport alive.
Are you a baseball, soccer, or football coach? Why not take the team off the field for a Saturday and to these ponds and introduce the kids to something that they can do until the day they leave this planet. I’ve been a coach, and love sports, but fishing is an activity that has no “starters,” no varsity of JV, and if you sit on the bench, it may not be a bad thing – if you can still cast from it.
While younger children should be accompanied by an adult, there is no need for pre-registration, except for groups of 20 or more.