If you're looking for something to do this upcoming weekend, why not go fishing? The state of Ohio is offering "Free Fishing Days" on Saturday, May 1, and Sunday, May 2, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. This means anyone can fish in any of the state's public waters without having to have a fishing license. Normally, if you're over the age of sixteen, you must purchase a licenses to remove fish, frogs, and turtles from any Ohio water. Fishing licenses are $19 and are available at bait and tackle stores, outdoor outfitters, major department stores, and online at WildOhio.com.
Free Fishing Days began in 1993. The goal was to promote fishing as recreation in the state and encourage residents to buy a license. It's good for all Ohioans and includes all public water, including Lake Erie and the Ohio River. According to Ohio.gov, about 1.3 million people fish in the state each year. It also allows kids to experience the fun of fishing and provides families with a fun bonding activity.
If you do plan to take your child fishing, there are a few tips to remember. Keep it simple. Don't worry about the size of the fish your kid catches, they will be excited to catch anything. A simple rod and reel costs just between $15 and $30 and is easy for people of all ages to use. You'll probably want to take children shore fishing and don't plan to spend the entire day doing the same thing over and over. Also, be patient. As Ohio.gov says, "By concentrating all your attention on your young angler, you'll likely be developing a fishing buddy for a lifetime." And don't forget to bring a camera!
If you are interested in getting a license and fishing year-round, Ohio is a great place for the sport. In winter and early spring, walleye and steelhead trout can be found in northern streams. Spring is also great for catching sugeye and crappie. When the weather gets warmer, Lake Erie is known for its yellow perch, walleye and smallmouth bass and the Ohio River is a great place for striped bass fishing.
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