Some of us grew up fishing with a parent or grandparent. A few of us took to it and pass it on to our children; some of us have no interest in it at all. Fishing means different things to different people. It's a time to get away from the rat race and relax. It's the thrill of hooking into a big one, or just spending time with a good friend. Some people fish in a competition, and some like the solitude it may bring.
For the people who continue to enjoy this pastime, you were fortunate to have had someone teach you how to fish. Though there's no difficulty in learning how to fish, there are still those who need someone to show them the ropes or just to take them out. Usually without a 'guide', a person who was never taken fishing may be missing something they would have otherwise enjoyed for a lifetime.
"The Illinois Urban Fishing Program" was introduced in Chicago in 1985 to teach individuals of all ages to fish, to provide better local fishing opportunities and to give participants an understanding of and a greater appreciation for natural resources. Urban Fishing Program coordinators also hold non-fishing conservation education programs and visit schools during the fall, winter and spring."
Anyone interested in learning how to fish is welcome to participate, though the program was initially geared for participants 16 years of age or younger. Basic fishing instruction, such as tying knots, baiting a hook, fish identification, Illinois laws are discussed and participants are provided with rod, reel and all the necessary bait and tackle for an hour or so of catch and release fishing.
The free fishing clinics begin on June 17 and are scheduled at 30 different locations throughout the state.
For more information, contact the IDNR Urban Fishing Program at (217) 782-6424.