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So you want to learn to fish?

I will tell you that I do not believe in “luck.” However, “luck” has been described as “the residue of hard work” and “where preparation meets opportunity” and those descriptions definitely apply to fishing and to good anglers.  Those anglers who seem to always catch fish and catch big fish are not the “luckiest” anglers, they are the most skilled.  I believe that there are some fundamental skills that apply to fishing, just like any other sport has fundamental skills, and those skills can be taught, learned, practiced, and mastered.

Most of us started our angling careers on the banks of some water body catching “sunfish”, bullheads or some other cooperative species, and our teachers were dads, granddads, uncles, cousins, brothers, or some other family member or friend.  The best way to learn to fish is still to be on the water with friends or family, but there are many ways to learn, and some of the fishing fundamentals can be learned in a variety of ways.  For example, here is another option:

Fishing Class Offered through Southeast Community College in April

Certified Youth Fishing Instructors will be teaching a FISHING course through SCC this spring.  The course is promoted as a family activity.  The college has set a fee of $29 for an adult registrant, and parents are encouraged to bring their children at no extra cost.  The course runs for four weeks and includes three classroom sessions covering the following topics: an introduction to angling, fishing equipment, regulations & ethics, and fish anatomy & identification. The final session is a fishing field trip.  Certified Youth Fishing Instructors are scheduled to teach the courses and loaner equipment is provided through the Youth Fishing Program.

1922328_281935371965051_1057247575_nEnrollment is now open for courses in Lincoln, Wahoo, and York.
Dates are:  Lincoln – 4/8, 4/15, 4/22 & 5/3
Wahoo – 4/10, 4/17, 4/24 & 4/26
York – 4/8, 4/15, 4/22 & 4/26
Registrations may be completed in person at Southeast Community College or online at: https://www.southeast.edu/Continuing/Following is the course description from the SCC catalog:

“Are you curious about fishing but intimidated by all the option in the fishing department at the store? Join us as we provide you with the basic knowledge and skills so that you can feel confident when heading out to the pond this spring. The last class will be a guided fishing trip at a lake near you just in time to get you ready for a great fishing season. Trout, bluegill or catfish, watch out! Class size is limited, so register early.”

“Equipment is provided, and local experts will share their knowledge. Class members over the age of 16 will need to obtain a fishing license for the last class session. You can get your license at the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission or online at outdoornebraska.ne.gov. Fishing is a family activity, so one adult per family needs to register and pay the tuition. You must list on the registration form the names and ages of the children attending the class with the adult.”

Instructors for those courses are some of our certified fishing instructors, and I am sure that Ken Whisenhunt, Dave Hoffman, and Jim McInerney will do a great job.  Thanks guys!

While I am on this topic, do not forget about our Family Fishing Nights, another great opportunity to bring the family and learn to fish.  You can see a list of this year’s scheduled family fishing nights here, 2014 Family Fishing Nights.

When you get “hooked”, pun intended, you will want to take some advanced courses.  One thing I love about fishing is the learning never ends.  Every day on the water is different and the process of figuring out where the fish are, what they are doing and how to catch them goes on and on and on.  Again there are lots of ways to continue that education and you can learn something from every angler.  But, I will tell you what I read and watch religiously, some of the resources where I continue to find new ideas and learn new things would be these. . . .

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Oh, and spend all the time you can on the water.  The fish are the best teachers!


About daryl bauer

Daryl is a lifelong resident of Nebraska (except for a couple of years spent going to graduate school in South Dakota). He has been employed as a fisheries biologist for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for 25 years, and his current tour of duty is as the fisheries outreach program manager. Daryl loves to share his educational knowledge and is an avid multi-species angler. He holds more than 120 Nebraska Master Angler Awards for 14 different species and holds more than 30 In-Fisherman Master Angler Awards for eight different species. He loves to talk fishing and answer questions about fishing in Nebraska, be sure to check out his blog at outdoornebraska.org.

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