Fishing + kids = plenty of fun! Participants will learn how to rig, bait, cast their lines, set a hook and handle and release a fish. If time allows, they can practice what they’ve learned.
Pre K - 12
Crooked Creek or pond
Fred Berry Conservation Education Center, Yellville, AR
Education Program Coordinator, 870-449-3484
45 minutes - 1 hour
Suggested Number of Participants:
Up to 15
Ample adult supervision/assistance. The number of helpers needed depends on the experience and size of the group. Water conditions and weather permitting.
- Demonstrate ability to handle fishing equipment correctly.
- Demonstrate releasing a catch with minimal effect on the fish.
- Learn a new sport for a lifetime of fun.
Fishing poles (cane poles or rods and spinning reels)
Outfitted tackle boxes (tackle will depend on fishing site)
Fish identification guides
Live bait (optional)
Fishing is a favorite past time for sportsmen around the world, and Arkansas waters provide plenty of fishing spots. Good fishermen have a basic understanding of the types of fish in aquatic habitats, rigging techniques, baits and the proper way to release a fish.
- Ask how many participants have fished before. Where? For what kind of fish? Who took them? Allow a few to share their favorite fishing story.
- Explain where participants will be fishing. Hold up the equipment and indicate the parts.
- If using rods with reels, see how many need instruction and practice casting. If the number is relatively high, they may tie on a practice plug and practice.
- Some sessions will begin with rods that are ready to use, while longer sessions may teach tying the hook. If necessary, show how to tie on the hook (and bobber if one is to be used) and allow time for practice.
- Discuss the types of fish they can expect to catch and the type of bait needed. Show them how to bait the hook.
- Show how to release a fish.
- Before going to the fishing hole, review basic safety precautions: ensure that no one is behind you when you cast; do not enter the water without permission; etc.
- When the group is prepared, lead them to the fishing site and let them catch fish.
Note: An adequate ratio of supervisors to children is about one to every four to six participants. Older, more experienced groups will require less supervision. Waders are available for these older groups if requested by the leader. Caution participants to avoid swift deep water when in waders.
- Arkansas Sport Fish Identification Pocket Guide (2005). Outdoor Empire Publishing.
- Arkansas Fishing Guidebook 2008, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
- The Freshwater Angler: Panfish, Creative Publishing International.
- The Freshwater Angler: Fishing for Catfish, Creative Publishing International.
- Lessley, Sloan H. Beginner’s Fishing Guide, Aquatic Resources Education (ARE) Program, Fisheries Division.
- Robison, Henry W. and Thomas M. Buchanan. Fishes of Arkansas, The University of Arkansas Press.
- Schmidt, Bob (1991). Sport Fishing and Aquatic Resources Handbook, Kendall Hunt Publishing Company.