6 spots to take the kids fishing in Maryland

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by Karen Stysley

Fishing can be a great family activity and there are so many spots to drop a line in Maryland.

Julie Anne Lynskey may be just 9 years old, but she already has a few fishing tales to tell.

Once the Churchton resident was pulling in what felt like a huge bluefish when she realized, "Oh my gosh, it's two fish!"

She also loves to tell of the 20-inch bluefish she caught — her biggest yet — and the fact that it's still in her freezer three years later.

Fishing1Julie Anne has been fishing with her dad, John, since she was 4 or 5 years old and loves the hobby.

"It's fun — the thrill of it, to catch the big fish and reel it all in," she says.

She and her dad head to a pier on the Chesapeake Bay at dusk, when fish come in to feed in the shallows. They usually manage to catch something, whether it's spot, croaker or perch or even big rockfish and bluefish in the fall. But most of the time, they throw them back.

"You actually have to hold the [blue]fish in the middle so they don't bite you," Julie Anne expertly advises.

Fishing is a great family activity because it gets kids outside and encourages respect for our natural resources, says Letha Grimes, biologist for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

The DNR encourages families to try organized fishing "rodeos" with groups of young novice anglers or to take part in an online fishing club, where kids can post pictures of their catches.

"If we don't promote (fishing) to the youth, we won't have future fishermen," Grimes says.

Many ponds in Maryland have bluegill and bass, while the DNR stocks trout in some local lakes and rivers as well. Bluegill will most likely be a child's first catch because it swims closer to shore and takes the worm quickly, says Grimes. But if nothing bites on your first time out, don't force it; let the kids take a break and do something else fun outdoors, she says.

"Try your hardest and don't get too disappointed if you don't catch a fish," says Julie Anne. "There's always next time."

Click next below for 6 ponds perfect for fishing with kids

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