Utah is filled with lakes, reservoirs, streams and rivers and these waterways allow anglers to enjoy great fishing year round. That is why the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is working toward getting children more actively involved in the outdoor activity.
In a recent publication produced by the wildlife division, southeastern region conservation outreach manager, Brent Stettler explained that the division offers several community events throughout the year to promote youth fishing.
Recently, the local branch of the DWR conducted kids fishing events at the Gigliotti Pond in Helper and also an event in Huntington. The events allowed children to enjoy the outdoor sport by providing proper gear and bait for those who had none.
Events like these are quite common throughout the state and assist parents with the duty of teaching children proper fishing etiquette and technique.
The wildlife division is actively involved in youth fishing events by offering a rod and reel checkout program which gives parents an opportunity to enjoy fishing outings without purchasing equipment.
"Rods and reels can be checked out for free at any DWR office. If a parent already knows that their child likes to fish however, they can buy a beginner's fishing outfit for under $20 at most department or sporting goods stores," explained Stettler.
The wildlife manager also explains that similar equipment is usually available at discount prices in the spring and early summer.
Fishing experts explain that young anglers generally fare better using baits. Typical baits include worms, fish eggs and commercial cheese baits which come in an assortment of colors and scents.
Depending on the season and availability, grasshoppers, Cicadas and other live insects are also effective.
"When children think of fishing, they think of catching. The frequency of bites, the number of fish they catch and the size of fish are extremely important to beginning anglers," explained Stettler.
The wildlife official suggests that it is important to provide beginners with a series of successful fishing trips in order to get them hooked on the sport.
"One of the best ways to get kids hooked on fishing is to take them where panfish are biting, especially in the late spring and early summer," indicated Stettler.
Panfish such as crappie, bluegills or perch can be caught in good numbers in very little time.
Also, the equipment used to catch panfish is quite simple. A rod and reel, small hook, bobber and a piece of nightcrawler all an angler needs to have a successful outing.
Locally, the Gigliotti Pond in Helper provides young anglers the opportunity to learn how to fish. The pond is stocked with bass, rainbow and bluegill which are relatively easy to snag on a fishing line.
The Helper pond also provides easy access to the water and is handicaped accessible. Best of all, it is a short distance from any Carbon County location.
Although there are several rivers and streams, it is suggested that a beginner stick to the wide open reservoirs and ponds. This gives them a chance to learn proper fishing techniques without obstacles surrounding them.
It is too easy for an angler to snag the rock or tree behind them or across the stream when fly fishing. With a young angler, the chance of doing so is much higher.
Nearby reservoirs allow anglers of all ages great fishing opportunities.
In order to plan a successful fishing outing, wildlife experts suggest that anglers review weekly fishing reports which are available a number of ways. These reports are published weekly in the Sun Advocate and are available through the Price DWR office and the division's website at www.wildlife.utah.gov.
"Having the right equipment and information will go a long way to providing the beginning angler with a positive and fun experience, something that he or she will want to repeat time and again," stated Stettler.
Fishing is a hobby for all ages, and the sooner a person is hooked, the more enjoyable each outing will become.