Take a Kid Fishing Weekend is set for this Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Minnesota, when adults can fish for free if accompanied by a boy or girl age 15 or younger.
Old people — those ages 16 and up, in this instance — can be complete neophytes and still pull off a great experience for themselves and for a youngster (or two or three). To help, the Department of Natural Resources has amassed how-to fishing guides, as well as a list of Twin Cities waters with shore- and pier-fishing opportunities, and where bluegills, crappies, bass and other fish can be caught.
• The DNR MinnAqua program offers five four-page Beginners Guides to Fishing for parents, youth group leaders and others. Paper copies are available at DNR headquarters, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, 55155, as well as at other DNR locations. Or they can be downloaded. The brochures cover everything from how to cast a spinning reel to knot tying, fish handling and hook removal.
• To find out where to fish in the Twin Cities, obtain the DNR’s Fishing in the Neighborhood (FIN) Youth and Family Fishing Guide. It lists 66 metro-area small lakes and ponds managed by the FIN program. Each water can be fished from shore, and some have piers built specifically for fishing. The guide is available online.
• Here, as an example, is information included in the guide on Moore Lake in Fridley. Address: Moore Lake Park, Highway 65 and 694. Depth: 22 feet. Species: Bluegill, black crappie, largemouth bass, northern pike, yellow perch, bullhead. Extras: Ball fields, basketball, concessions, excellent parking, two fishing piers, picnic shelter and tables, playground, restrooms, tennis, volleyball, walking path. Handicap access: excellent. Comments: Moore Lake is divided in half by Highway 65. Both basins support fish, but the eastern basin is where fish are stocked and the fishing piers are located. There is also plenty of open shoreline to fish from and a swimming beach to take a break on hot days.
• Note also that Minnesotans in most cases can fish for free at most state parks (park entry permits are needed, however.). A list of parks with free fishing opportunities is online. Additionally, most state parks have free fishing gear available to loan. For a list of these parks, click here. In the metro area, Fort Snelling State Park is a popular fishing destination.