Outdoor Adventure Series: Fishing (GMHDRNC)


The outdoor adventure series is a three- to four-part series in the summer for older elementary children. The fishing program covers the Delta Rivers Nature Center (GMHDRNC) equipment.

Grade Level:

5 - 8

Recommended Setting:

Indoor or outdoor classroom and aquatic setting

Outdoor Activity:



Governor Mike Huckabee Delta Rivers Nature Center, Pine Bluff


Education Program Coordinator, 870-534-0011


4 - 5 hours

Suggested Number of Participants:

10 - 15


  • Learn about native Arkansas fish.
  • Understand that fishing is a population management tool.
  • Learn about basic fishing tackle and gear and fish using DRNC gear.

Key Terms*:





Monofilament line


*See glossary for definations


Fishing game

Fishing poles

Hooks and fishing line

Sample reels


Hundreds of thousands of anglers fish every year. More than 200 species of fish live in the 600,000 acres of lakes and 9,700 miles of fishable streams in Arkansas, making the Natural State a destination for anglers.


  1. Begin with the fishing game, a set of plastic fish with raised cups that catch a casting weight. Allow participants to try to “catch” the fish, teaching both casting direction and patience.
  2. Next, discuss some of Arkansas’s native fish species, their biology and how the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission manages them.
  3. Discuss the parts of a rod and reel and how they function: the pick up or bail, reel seat and foot, handle, support arm, anti-reverse lever, skirted spool, monofilament line and the drag adjustment knob. Also, review the kinds of reels, including the spinning, bait casting, open-face and fly-fishing reels.
  4. After you have shown how to use the reel, move to knot tying: the Palomar, improved clinch and the fisherman’s knot. Distribute hooks, a length of fishing line and a diagram of the knots and allow time to practice tying.
  5. Next, move to the Delta Rivers’ oxbow lake aquarium and, using various fishing lures, point out both how the baits look underwater and how the fish react to them. Point out some of the native fish they will be looking for while fishing.
  6. The final part of the program is to take the participants fishing.


  • Why is it important to learn about the fishes of Arkansas before going fishing?
  • What fish would be easier to catch with a spinner bait?


Bait – food, or some substitute, used as a lure in fishing, trapping, etc.

Bobber – a fishing float or cork designed to float on the water and keep bait or lure at a selected depth

Hook – a curved or sharply bent device for catching fish either by impaling them in the mouth or, more rarely, by snagging the body of the fish

Lure – a decoy; any live or artificial bait used to fish or trap

Monofilament line – single, strong synthetic material used for fishing line, which is low-cost and available in all pound-test varieties

Sinker – a weight that sinks and holds nets or fishing lines under water