6 spots to take the kids fishing in Maryland

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Tips when taking kids fishing the first time

First time taking the kids fishing? Here are some tips from the Department of Natural Resources and Letha Grimes, DNR biologist.

  • Be familiar with Maryland fishing regulations, including where fishing is allowed and limits on the number of fish that can be caught, all of which are in the Maryland Fishing Guide available online at eregulations.com/maryland/fishing.
  • A fishing license is required for ages 16 and up, but there are license-free fishing areas, which can be found at dnr2.maryland.gov/fisheries/Pages/license-free.aspx. [so maybe Get a fishing license for everyone 16 years or older. ...]
  • Find a fun rod for the kids. Children's rods with characters are popular and cost less than $20. Grimes recommends a closed-face (rather than open-face) reel, which is common for beginners.
  • Bring bait. Worms work well and can be dug up or purchased at area convenience stores or tackle shops.
  • Consider taking a class to learn the ropes. Howard County Recreation and Parks offers classes. Visit howardcountymd.gov/fishing.htm for details or check your local recreation department.
  • Keep safety in mind. Kids can wear life vests and be careful with hooks. Grimes recommends waiting to put the hook on the line until arriving at the fishing destination.
  • Pick a spot where fish are known to bite. The better chance kids have of catching something, the better chance they will enjoy it, Grimes says.
  • Once at a location, look for fish habitats like downed trees, tree roots, rock areas, docks or other places to drop your line.
  • Don't forget bug spray, sunscreen, wipes and snacks to keep the kids comfortable while there.
  • If nothing bites, don't force it, Grimes says. Let the kids take a break and do something else fun outdoors.

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