By Capt. David Lifka

School is out and summer is here and the kids need to get out of the house, at least for a little while. We’ve got nearby parks, ball fields, skateboard parks, neighborhood pools and neighbors with pools, and most of all water. Creeks, ponds, lakes, springs, the St. Johns River, and the Atlantic Ocean are all within walking, biking, or a fairly quick drive, and all these bodies contain fish. With all this easy access to water, fishing is a sport, an activity, or even an event that the whole family can enjoy, especially the kids. Wherever there’s water, there’s probably fish. 

Getting the kids out of the house and beginning fishing can be as simple as visiting a neighborhood pond. A fishing pole, line, and hook and a piece of bread or worms is all that is needed. Bream, bass, and catfish are the usual catches, and great fun for the kids to catch. Not too much more is needed after that to fish a nearby creek, the river, or the beach. No boat required.

Fishing is an activity for the kids and family that offers much more than just “wetting a line.” It has been a great source of escape, relaxation, sport, and adventure for many. It is an outdoors experience of nature and its wonders. Fishing provides the chance to learn more about weather, tides, birds, animals, and the fish that inhabit our waters. Getting the kids out of the house and into fishing this summer could become a pastime for many more summers to come. It’s definitely worth a try. 

Just a reminder that new flounder regulations are in effect that have increased the minimum size from 12 inches to 14 inches with the daily bag limit being reduced from 10 fish to five fish. Also, a new Federal Boating Safety law requires that the “kill switch” be attached to the operator of a vessel 26-feet or fewer when on a plane. Finally, on June 1, shrimping in Duval, St. Johns, and Clay counties will reopen.

Fishing Report: Reds on docks in Orange Park areas of the river, striped bass in Doctor’s Lake on docks and U.S. 17 bridge. Plenty of whiting at the beach; many still good sized. Largemouths in area creeks.

Whether you catch one, some, or none, the family time spent fishing will last a lifetime.

Photo courtesy  Andrew White

Gavin White of Switzerland caught this largemouth bass with his father, Andy, on a recent fishing trip in Durbin Creek. He caught it casting a top water frog.

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