*This is a sponsored post on behalf of Take Me Fishing. All opinions are my own.*
We are not what you would call and outdoorsy family.
Sometimes we go outdoors, and sometimes we enjoy it, and by we I mostly mean my children.
Personally, 99% of my life can be easily enjoyed inside.
I don’t like bugs, being hot, being cold, being wet, being dirty, sweating, or weird smells.
I do enjoy the sun, but usually only when I am relaxing near it, not directly in it.
So, outside has never really been my jam.
Unless I’m fishing.
I started fishing with my dad when I was pretty young and it has always been our thing. As a kid I remember going lake fishing, river fishing, sea fishing, pond fishing, fishing on a boat, from a peer, standing knee deep in the water to fish—we fished all the places we could and as often as possible.
And now, he does it with my boys.
All of my dudes got to learn to fish thanks to Papa, and they’ve all grown to enjoy dropping a line in the water with him—it’s one of the best gifts he’s given us.
It’s a great way to unplug and enjoy nature with a friend or loved one, and it teaches you to appreciate our beautiful land, waterways, and wildlife.
We had the opportunity to get a little fishing in during National Fishing and Boating Week thanks to our friends at Take Me Fishing.
We visited their free fishing pop up experience at Burke Lake in Virginia where we got to spend a rainy afternoon on the water fishing.
It was fun to see all of the novice anglers out there learning to fish and reeling in their first catches.
We even had some decent luck ourselves!
If you’re looking for something fun to do this summer, fishing is a fun, inexpensive activity you can do with little experience.
Even city peeps like me can learn to fish and come to enjoy the experience without having to travel far to do it.
And, if you’re not feeling super confident about your fishing skills, check out Take Me Fishing to see if they have a pop-up, Off the Hook, learn to fish experience coming to your neck of the woods soon.
These free events are the perfect way to try your hand at fishing because they provide everything you need to get started, including experienced anglers there to help guide you as you learn to fish. They provide the bait, the gear, and the tackle. They point you in the direction of the fish and they’ll even bait your hook if you need them to.
Here’s what’s next on the Off the Hook Tour:
Exact location TBD
Saturday, July 20: Times to be announced
Exact location TBD
Saturday, July 27: Times to be announced
If you’re not able to attend a Take Me Fishing learn to fish event and you still want to get your family out on the water to learn fish, here are a few first time fishing tips to help get you on your way.
5 Things to Do Before Your First Fishing Trip
Get a license.
Every state has some sort of fishing license procedure you need to make yourself aware of. You can find out what your state requires here: State Fishing License Info
Maybe you’re not ready to become a fully fledged, licensed angler—even though, seriously, it’s not difficult or expensive and maybe takes nothing more than a trip to Walmart—you might be able to just time your first trip to correspond with a free fishing day or weekend.
These free fishing days/weekends are offered on various days across the United States.
Check out this site to learn about the free fishing dates in your neck of the woods: Free Fishing Days
Find a fishing hole.
Finding a place to fish can also feel challenging for those unfamiliar. You can’t just walk up to any body of water, toss your line in, and get your fish on, but finding a place to fish is not as tough as you might think.
Take Me Fishing can help with that too, in fact. Check out their where to fish map to find a location near you.
Figure out the gear and bait situation.
The gear and bait you chose depends on several factors—what type of fishing you’ll be doing (freshwater or salt water), what type of fish you might catch, where you’ll be fishing and under what circumstances (for example, fishing from a kayak on a lake may require different gear from fishing from a peer at a marina).
You want to take some time to understand the fish available where you’re going fishing so that you can ensure you have the proper poles, bait, lines, and lures when you head out.
Take Me Fishing has an excellent fishing gear and tackle section that can help prepare you for any type of fishing experience you may encounter.
Prep for a full day on the water.
For most of us, fishing isn’t a life chore that needs to be done for sustenance. Most of us will catch and release what we catch anyway because fishing is more of a leisure activity than anything else. With that in mind, fishing is meant to be an experience. You can’t rush a fishing trip and expect it to be fun!
Plan to spend some time on and near the water with your family—pack a lunch, layer on the sunscreen, leave the phone in your pocket and prepare to soak up the beauty of nature while you wait for the fish to bite.
And remember to maintain reasonable expectations. You can’t force a fish to let you catch it, and a lot of fishing has to do with being patient and waiting for the fish to bite. You can help the process along by going to the right places, at the right times, with the right bait and tackle, but even then, there is usually some waiting involved. Remind your kids that fishing is a fun experience even if you don’t get a major catch each time you go!
Let Take Me Fishing get you started.
Whether you’re about to attend one of their upcoming Off the Hook fishing events like we did or not, Take Me Fishing is an invaluable resource for the beginning and relatively inexperienced angler. With their countless fishing tips and tricks and local resources to help you learn and enjoy fishing, they are the perfect place to start when