June 18 is National Go Fish Day and July 26 through September 1 is National Fishing Month. Fishing is a great way to spend time with family, relax and get outdoors. Texas has thousands of miles of creeks, rivers, lakes and coast line perfect to bait your hook, cast your line and catch some fish. Even fishing beginners can find opportunities to learn about and explore some of Texas’ wildlife. Here are some ways the entire family can celebrate National Go Fishing Day and National Fishing Month. And remember- you and your family can fish without a license at all Texas State Parks. Many State Parks also rent fishing poles and gear.
Go kayak fishing on the Texas coast: The newest coastal paddling trail, the Seadrift Paddling Trail, features 20 miles of freshwater and saltwater paddling from the Guadalupe River to San Antonio Bay. Anglers can find prime red drum and spotted seatrout fishing opportunities along this scenic float, along with wildlife watching opportunities for Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, a variety of shore and migratory birds. Eight other coastal paddling trails can be found on the Texas Paddling Trails website.
Tour a Texas State Fish Hatchery: Anglers and future fisheries biologists can see first-hand where millions of fish are raised each year for stocking into the public waters of Texas at five inland fish hatcheries located across the state and three saltwater fish hatcheries on the Texas coast. Many of the hatcheries welcome the public to come and visit their educational and informative facilities through scheduled tours or by appointment. Learn more on the Texas State Fish Hatcheries website.
Go Fishing With a Texas State Park Ranger: Want to learn how to fish? Interested in catching the big one? Learn the basics and take a shot at landing a whopper with the rangers of Texas State Parks. The Fish With a Ranger Program is open to beginners wanting to learn how to fish and to those seasoned veterans hoping to catch the big one. This is a reoccurring event that takes place on most Saturdays at different state parks. Learn more and find dates and times on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website.
Fish close to home: Neighborhood fishing is fun and easy. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department regularly stocks lakes and ponds in urban areas with fish throughout the summer months. These parks are perfect for first-timers and families with kids. Stocking takes place every two to four weeks during summer. There should be a good supply of fish whenever you find time to visit!
Visit marine life at Sea Center Texas: At Sea Center Texas in Lake Jackson, visitors can explore aquaria and exhibits of Texas marine life, the largest redfish hatchery in the world, 36 one-acre fish culture ponds, an outdoor wetland exhibit and a youth fishing pond. A 20-foot touch pool allows visitors to gently touch marine animals such as blue crabs, hermit crabs, stone crabs, snails and even anemones.
Catch a fish at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center: The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center, located in Athens, Texas, offers several stocked fishing ponds, ample fishing loaner equipment, a full production hatchery and a vast array of aquatic exhibits to explore. After catching catfish and rainbow trout in the fishing ponds, see other interesting creatures like paddlefish and American alligators, watch a live fish-feeding dive show, and take a narrated tram tour through the outdoor hatchery facility.
When out enjoying time with your family fishing make sure you keep everyone hydrated with plenty of water and wear sun protection. You can also help protect birds, fish and other wildlife by making sure you don’t leave the line behind. If you every suspect someone of poaching, please call the Texas Game Wardens.
Find more places to explore in nature near you at www.naturerockstexas.org