No more excuses. Make a lunch, pour the family into the vehicle and go fishing. No fishing license? No problem, at least on this Saturday and Sunday, June 9 and 10. This is what Fish and Wildlife terms Free Fishing Weekend.
A fishing license is not required on the upcoming Saturday and Sunday. Catch record cards are needed for those who fish for salmon, steelhead, sturgeon, Puget Sound Dungeness crab and halibut, if those seasons are open. Catch record cards are free.
In addition, a vehicle access pass, the two-pole endorsement and the Columbia River salmon and steelhead endorsement are not required. However, all other rules still apply, such as lure and bait restrictions, seasons, plus size and catch limits.
The Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet is free. Attain one, read it and take it with you for reference.
This is a fantastic opportunity, folks. Some families shy away from fishing because they donít want to buy a fishing license or fishing tackle. This is your chance to forget about the license, but some tackle will be required.
This family could borrow a couple rods and tackle from a friend or neighbor. There are rod and reel combinations for under $20 at some sporting goods stories. A few more dollars and this family would be ready to go.
Items to consider
Take enough food to keep everybody happy. Snacks, fruit, etc. will help satisfy little ones between meals. Meals can consist of sandwiches assembled at home or at the picnic site. The camp stove will allow a more extensive meal, such as stew or soup.
Always take more clothing than a family expects to use. A youngster can always take off a coat, but she will be in the vehicle if it is cold and there is not a coat available. This applies to the entire family, not just the little ones.
Stay with them
Beginning anglers, no matter the age, will need someone to be close at hand to help with knots, bait and taking the fish off the hook. This is a time for the parent and the youth to create yet another memory which will last a lifetime.
An angler may not fish with a rod not under her/his immediate control. The youth cannot have his line in the water while he eats lunch at the picnic table 100 yards away.
At least one binocular should be part of the family travel supplies. Eventually all members of the family should have their own.
A bird identification book is a handy item. It provides a chance for the family to learn about the various species of birds. The book could be well used at home, also.
Saturday and Sunday
The opportunity is close at hand, folks. Take advantage of both days and make them unforgettable.