Poppy and her mom fished in a river on their way to Montana. Ask a grown-up to take you fishing. Most places have places and special days when kids can fish for free, without a license. Check with your state’s Department of Fish and Game, or look for a kids’ fishing pond in a park nearby. The website Take Me Fishing lists free fishing days each year HERE.

You can make your own fishing pole, line and hook. Great-grandma May used a stick or a dowel as the pole. She tied string to the end of the stick. On the string she tied a large safety pin. When she arrived at her fishing hole, she put a worm or grasshopper on the pin. Then she put her line in the water. You may want to try fishing like she did, or use a child-size rod, reel, line, bobber and barbless hook available at many stores or online.

No park or pond nearby? No problem. You can practice casting your line by making these changes to your hook. You won’t catch fish but you can improve your fishing technique.

Instead of a hook, use a U shaped magnet available in hardware sections of stores or online. Tie the magnet to the string on your line. Make sure the tips of the U face down.

Now, create a circle in a safe place where you won’t hit someone or something when you toss your line and magnet back and then forward. Outside is good, as long as no people, animals, cars, plants, could be hit. You can gently toss your line and magnet to be sure no one is hurt. Place small metal objects in the circle. Empty tin cans with no rough edges work. So do toy metal cars. Magnets don’t work on aluminum or plastic, so you need metal objects to “catch”.

Another way to practice is to tie a plastic hook on your line. I use a plastic display hanger that is shaped like a question mark (?).You may need to reinforce it with tape so it is sturdy and doesn’t wiggle. Look behind you to be sure you won’t hit something. A plastic hook can catch toys and very lightweight items.

Casting your fishing line takes practice. Poppy practiced before she went fishing. Usually, It takes more than three tries to catch a fish. But sometimes you are lucky and get a fish on the first cast, if you have practiced.

Happy fishing!

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Carol Curtis Stilz