Archive for the 'Angler Education' Category

Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration

Thursday, October 18th, 2018

Sport Fish Restoration Program helps make fishing better for all.

This is Passport to Texas

If you’re an angler or boater, you will be interested to know that every time you purchase fishing tackle or motor boat fuel, you contribute to a trust fund that helps support quality sport fishing and boating access in Texas.

It’s the Dingell-Johnson Act. Also called the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act; it is a national program.

It began as an excise tax on rods, reels, creels, and fishing lures; the tax money was used to help fund US efforts during World War II. In 1950 it was redirected, thanks to the efforts of Congressman John Dingell of Michigan and Senator Edwin Johnson of Colorado.

Texas receives a 5% maximum apportionment of all of these federal taxes, and it is matched on a 3 to 1 basis with the sale of state fishing licenses.

In Texas, a little over one-third of the funds support fisheries management. One-fifth, hatchery operations; followed by boating access, aquatic education, habitat protection, sport fishery research and public outreach.

These funds help make fishing and boating better in Texas for everyone—from urban neighborhood fishin’ lakes to…well…this show.

Sport fishing is good for the Texas economy as anglers and boaters spend billions of dollars annually for goods and services. Besides, they get to go fishing. I call that win-win.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

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

Fishing is for Families

Thursday, September 13th, 2018
A family fishing outing at the lake.

A family fishing outing at the lake.

This is Passport to Texas

Catching a fish never fails to excite, especially if you’re a child. Reeling in one of these wiggly wonders has never been easier in Texas urban areas.

That’s because places for family fishing fun are in, or near, your neighborhoods…as are the opportunities for gaining the skills necessary for catching the fish.

Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Neighborhood Fishin’ program brings the fish to you. Currently, eighteen neighborhood fishin’ lakes are dispersed among eleven Texas cities: from Abilene to Houston and points in between.

Stocking takes place every two to four weeks during summer and winter seasons. Which means there should be a good supply of fish to catch and bring home for dinner whenever you find time to visit!

In addition to the Neighborhood Fishin’ program, state parks host fishing events where you learn about the best gear and bait to use, how to cast, and even how to cook what you catch. Some parks also loan tackle.

Fishing is a gateway activity into the Texas outdoors, and something the entire family can share together.

Find a list of the Neighborhood Fishin’ lakes on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website. While you’re there, check out the calendar section for fishing events near you.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

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

2018 Resolutions for Anglers

Wednesday, December 27th, 2017
Fishing at Padres Island National Seashore. Image originally appeared in Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine.

Fishing at Padres Island National Seashore. Image originally appeared in Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine.

This is Passport to Texas Resolutions Week

When I asked Karen Marks and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Aquatic Education team if they had any New Year resolutions for anglers that they’d like to share with me, they did, and boiled them down to three little words:

Learn. Fish. Teach.

Learn to be safe on or near the water. Understand weather and water currents, and how to safely use your gear. Learn how to hold and release fish safely for you and the fish. Most of all, learn about aquatic invasive species and how as an angler you can prevent their spread.

Fish. Get outside and go fish. Buy a licenses and follow all regulations. It’s free to fish at state parks with fishing opportunities. Use established trails to access shoreline, and pick up litter along the way. Leave every area better than you found it. And invite family and friends to join you; don’t be surprised when they jump at the chance.

That brings us to teach. Volunteer at a local fishing event, help a scout group, volunteer with Parks and Wildlife or with a local veteran fishing organization like Heroes on the Water and Project Healing Waters.

Moreover, consider becoming a certified TPWD Angler Education instructor. Share your knowledge, skills and proper attitudes towards our fishing heritage, and help create a brighter future for freshwater and saltwater fishing in Texas.

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti

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.