Archive for the 'Angler Education' Category

Using Baits and Lures to Your Advantage

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017
Baits and lures are an angler's friend.

Baits and lures are an angler’s friend.

This is Passport to Texas

Nothing beats live bait for catching fish. Yet, manmade lures have been around a long time—because they work.

For example, take the spinner bait. The spinning blades are designed to catch a fish’s attention as they move through the water. The flashing silver looks just like a tasty minnow.

Steve Campbell worked in Outreach and Education at Texas Parks and Wildlife, specializing in angler education.

Another popular lure is the top water lure. Because it floats on top of the water, it works best in calm waters where it is visible to fish below. To use a top water…cast…wait for the bait to settle, and then pop your rod tip; repeat until you get a strike.

The crankbait is a fun lure to work with. It has a kind lip that extends from the front of the lure.

This lip causes the bait to dive down through the water as you crank on the reel. As soon as you cast your crankbait, turn the reel quickly a couple of times so the lip will catch the water and pull down. Stop reeling, and the lure begins to float back up. Your goal is to imitate an injured fish darting through the water.

Lures come in all shapes and sizes, and your tackle dealer can help you select the right lures for your next fishing trip.

And remember: while natural bait is best, it’s always a good idea to keep a couple of lures on hand when you get tired of feeding—I mean catching—the fish.

The Sport Fish restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Baits and Lures

Monday, January 30th, 2017
Making baits and lures work for you.

Making baits and lures work for you.

This is Passport to Texas

If you plan to go fishing, you’ll need to bring along live bait, man-made lures—or both.

Let’s talk baits first.

Steve Campbell worked in Outreach and Education at Texas Parks and Wildlife, specializing in angler education.

Nothing beats natural bait for catching fish. Some good, all around freshwater baits are: kernel corn, hot dogs and live critters, such as worms, minnows and crawfish.

If you’re on the coast, can hardly go wrong with using live shrimp. Whether you’re a freshwater or saltwater angler, you need to keep your bait alive.

You’ve got to keep bait alive for it to be effective. Make sure you keep your bait cool and moist and out of direct sunlight.

Most anglers keep live bait in their coolers. Just don’t get it mixed up with the tuna sandwich you packed for lunch. And if your bait came from a bait shop or another body of water, do not release the unused bait into the waters you are fishing.

It can interfere with the plants and animals that live there naturally. Dump the bait in a trash can or on land, away from the water.

Tomorrow we learn about several lures and how to use them to your best advantage.

We record our show in Austin at the Block House. Joel Block engineers our program.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Become a Volunteer Angler Education Instructor

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016
Bullfrog Pond Family Fishing Event.

Bullfrog Pond Family Fishing Event.

This is Passport to Texas

You don’t have to be a pro to teach angling to others.

I used to be a school teacher, and you just need to know a little bit more than the person you’re instructing. We have people come that have no background knowledge whatsoever in fishing. Picture a scout troop in which none of the leadership has a background in fishing, and yet they want to extend that to their scout troops.

A dedicated volunteer base allows Texas Parks and Wildlife aquatic education training specialist Caleb Harris and his crew to reach a larger audience than they otherwise would.

That’s exactly why we need them. They extend our outreach efforts to hundreds of places a weekend. We’re a staff of four in our outreach office, and so they really multiply our efforts as a department to get the word out.

Harris says becoming a volunteer angler education instructor begins with a weekend workshop.

Our instructor workshops are normally on Saturdays, and they’re held all over the state. They’re listed on our Texas Parks and Wildlife calendar of events, and they’re free for anyone that wants to attend them. And they normally last about six hours, five hours. They’re, I’d say, about half classroom time and half playing the type of games and learning the type of fishing skills that we’d like our instructors to pass on. So, they’re pretty active workshops.

Find an angler instructor workshop near you in the calendar section of the Texas Parks and Wildlife website…and get ready to get hooked.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Celebrating 10 Years of Take Me Fishing Hutsell

Thursday, April 21st, 2016
Take Me Fishing Hutsell, image courtesy Katy Times.

Take Me Fishing Hutsell, image courtesy Katy Times.


This is Passport to Texas

Once a year, Hutsell Elementary school students in Katy ISD, trade school books for rods and reels.

Each year, in the spring, we invite our third, fourth and fifth grade students to Peckham Park. And we have a beautiful pond there. And through Texas Parks and Wildlife, they stock the pond for us. And on a Saturday, the children and their families all attend a fishing event.

That event is Take Me Fishing Hutsell. Principal Margie Blount says this year’s event is special, because it’s the 10 year anniversary of the program in the school.

We are going to be inviting the alumni. And those students will be invited to come back and enjoy the fishing event and enjoy the 10th year anniversary with us.

Over the years, Hutsell educators have seen improvement in the test scores of students who’ve participated in the Take Me Fishing program. Principal Blount says the upcoming celebration on April 23 is for the entire community.

Texas Parks and Wildlife will be there. They have been a great contributor. Game Wardens will be there. We will have angler clubs that will be coming. We’re looking at this to be one of our bigger fishing events.

If you’re in the area of Peckham Park between nine and noon on Saturday April 23, Hutsell Elementary Principal Margie Blount invites you to join in the festivities.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our Series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti

Ten Years of Take Me Fishing Hutsell

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016
Take Me Fishing Hutsell

Take Me Fishing Hutsell participants. Image courtesy

This is Passport to Texas

Fishing is hooked into the curriculum for students attending Hutsell Elementary in the Katy ISD.

This program started back in 2006 as part of Take Me Fishing Houston. And then, two years later, we were able to obtain the name Take Me Fishing Hutsell, because we extended the program through he support of Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Take me Fishing Hutsell is an annual event at Peckham Park for students and their families. Principal Margie Blount says kids prepare by taking aquatic education classes; then the day of the event, some families may win fishing gear, which encourages more time outside.

Families are able to take their children fishing in the park and experience the love for angler education beyond that day. It’s getting out parents involved. It’s getting our kids involved. And bringing the whole community together.

The program weaves classroom instruction with practical outdoor experience, resulting in improved testing.

We have had great success in our STAAR scores. Our students have really been very successful at state assessments. And even understanding the application and higher level thinking, because we allow our students to take their learning and apply it to everyday living.

The Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.