Next weekend will mark the first weekend in June, the time when Iowans who love to fish grab their fishing poles.
Joe Larscheid, fisheries director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, invites everyone to be a part of the state’s annual Free Fishing Weekend.
“It’s an excuse to get out and fish,” Larscheid says. “Any resident of Iowa does need a fishing license and of course, kids under 16 can fish free all the time. It’s just a really good time of year to get out with your family and friends and just experience the joy of fishing.”
There’s a reason why the first weekend of June is selected for the free fishing.”This is the time of year where bluegills and crappies especially are very vulnerable and very close to shore,” he says. “It takes very simple tackle to go after them so it’s a family-friendly activity. Most of our lakes have family-friendly sites. We have fishing jetties, we have mowed shorelines and it’s a great time to get out and be with family and friends.”
Larscheid says there will be something new this year for the free fishing weekend, launching of a program called “Teachable Moments,” which he says is a keep-it-simple initiative.
“Our DNR staff will be walking around the state talking to anglers and they’ll have kits they can hand out to anglers with three or four bobbers, there will be a card on how to keep it simple,” Larscheid says. “We can educate people on the spot, give them some free tackle and hopefully, make their experience even more successful.”
There will also be fishing clinics, derbies and other events co-sponsored by the Iowa DNR.
By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City