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Learn to Fish.

That’s not an order, except maybe to myself, if “better” were attached.

Instead, Learn to Fish is the name of a series of DNR workshops I’d like to tell you about so you can spread the word. Most are geared to anyone who thinks they may have an interest in fishing, but may not know where or how to start—or find out more.

As most of you probably know, fishing provides many concrete and abstract benefits to the particular angler, ranging from food to excitement to peace and quiet. Anglers as a group also benefit because of the direct correlation between sales of licenses and fishing equipment to the funding of fishing programs. It’s also proven that those who recreate outdoors tend to support conservation efforts.

In the workshops, participants learn about fish and their habitat, rules and regulations, how to catch fish in general or target certain species, and how to clean and cook their catch.

Many workshops include casting practice. Participants then go fishing under an expert’s eye with poles that they each put together. By the workshop’s end, participants should have the knowledge, skills, and confidence to pursue their fish of focus at a fish & wildlife area, state park, state forest, or other water of their choosing. Workshops that don’t provide actual fishing time still incorporate hands-on angling skills. Most workshops are free. More details are at Fishing.IN.gov.

Help us promote Learn to Fish to friends, family, acquaintances, and anyone else you think might be interested. Indiana needs more people enjoying the outdoors, and you can help make that happen.

Cameron Clark

Director, Indiana Department of Natural Resources

“Go FishIN, this is Amanda.”

That’s how I answered the phone during the 10 years I coordinated the DNR sport fishing program.

Fishing has been a big part of my personal life and work life for a long time. I remember catching and eating plenty of crappie, the species on this year’s cover, from Hardy Lake. When fishing education was the focus of my job, I shared my love of the sport and the outdoors with thousands of people. Regardless of whether I was fishing for fun or teaching the sport, I made a ton of great memories.

I hope we can continue to help you create wonderful memories of fishing and the outdoors with your friends and family. One of the tools for doing so is the Learn to Fish workshops Cam mentions above. Another is Free Fishing Days, when Indiana residents can fish without a license. The dates this year are May 3, June 6-7, and Sept. 26.

May 3 kicks off Visit Indiana Week. That day, you can visit state park properties without paying a gate fee. This is a great chance to pair a fishing trip with a visit to one of our beautiful state park properties.

June 6-7, our traditional Free Fishing Weekend, coincides with National Fishing and Boating Week. We will have several events scheduled across the state. Check out on.IN.gov/learn2fish for details.

Sept. 26 is National Fishing and Hunting Day. This fall date is an excellent opportunity to get outside and enjoy this beautiful time of year.

Enjoy your 2020 fishing season, and share your memories with us on Facebook
(@INFishandWildlife) or Twitter (@INFishWildlife).

Amanda Wuestefeld

Director, DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife