Those lazy days of summer are upon us at last! Now it’s time to find stuff to do. Back when we first began this backyard fun discussion, both Carol and Julie K. posted musings on the joys of fishing. Julie says that when she finally manages to kick her kids off the video games, they usually head for the park to fish and find wildlife. And lucky Carol lives in a neighborhood with a lake. If you don’t have a fishing pond in your backyard, fret not. There are plenty of places to take your kids and tackle box here in the Bay Area. Start with these five ideas…
1. If you’re not a fisherman yourself, the easiest way to start is at a Fishing Clinic. These free, 45-minute clinics are sponsored by California’s Fish & Game Department, and they feature learning stations on everything from safety and knots to casting and ecological lessons too. The clinics are designed for families with kids 5 and up. All equipment is supplied. And the next one is this Saturday, June 20 from 8 a.m. to noon at Newark’s Lakeshore Park. Get there early! The last clinic starts at 10 a.m., although once you’re in, you can fish till noon.
2. The East Bay Regional Parks hold fishing classes too, including a catfishing basics class at Livermore’s Del Valle Regional Park on June 27 for kids, ages 7 and up, and grown-ups. And Fremont’s Quarry Lakes is holding an intriguing “Skills of the Past: Fishing Nets” class on June 28.
3. The bluegills are biting at the Lafayette Reservoir. You’ll need to bring your own equipment, but the fishing fee is a measly $4. Or seek out more than 10 other charming fishing possibilities at the East Bay’s Regional Parks.
4. Take advantage of the state’s Free Fishing Day, when you can fish without a license. This year’s dates include Fourth of July and Labor Day.
5. Or try something entirely different – fish for crawdads in the pond at Pittsburg’s Small World Park.
Looking for more backyard fun ideas?