Thanks for visiting FridayNightFamily. I hope you find the information on this page helpful and fun for your family and freinds. Feel free to provide feedback if there is something you want more detail on or simply don’t understand. The door is always open and you are always welcome. ~Joe and Kathy
Inexpensive rods, reels and tackle can be found at your local sporting goods store. The closest to us is Dick’s Sporting Goods. For less than thirty dollars you can get a fishing outfit or two. The folks working for these stores have the experience and patience to help a new fisherman (or fisher mom) get set up to take the kids for a few hours of pan fishing at a local lake, creek, river, or pond. Follow along with us for some kitchen assistance from my fiancée Kathy or as I call her “Bloggerella”, and we will guide you through the process for family fun and tasty food.
Most local lakes, ponds, creeks and rivers have plenty of tasty Blue Gills, Sun Fish, Perch and Crappies which are also known as Calico Bass. All of these fish are known as “pan fish” because they are the size of a small pan and have been a staple food from the time of the pilgrims. A quick check of your state fish, game and wild life service will get you started on places near your home where you can take the kids for an afternoon of pan fishing.
Most states require a fishing license for anyone over the age of 16 so be certain to investigate what your states age requirements are before you set out on your day of fishing. You can do this by going to their website. The fee for a resident adult license is usually less than $20.00 for the year.
The gear you’ll need is very basic and we will go over an inexpensive list for you right here.
1 – A small fresh water rod and reel with some 4 lb test line. The folks at your local sporting goods store can get you set up fairly inexpensively ($15.00-$20.00).
2– A pack of no. 8 or no. 10 bait holder hooks. These are usually less than $2.00 for a pack of 10
3– A small float, stick bobber – less than $1.00
4- A carton of worms –less than $3.00 at Walmart in the sporting goods section, or better yet let the kids dig some up for free in the yard or local lot.
Now we will show you how to rig your rod. Here is an excellent document that you can print out and take with you for reference. fishingbasics
Also, take a few minutes and read some of the wonderful information about fishing from this site. To enjoy nature, you must respect it. http://www.dec.ny.gov/
1 – Pull the line from the reel and thread it thru the guides. Make sure the line is passed thru each guide.
2- Tie on the hook. A simple clinch knot is shown in the guide above.
- Thread the line thru the hook eye.
- Twist it 5 to seven times and feed the lose end back thru the loop.
- Pull the lose end down while holding the main line firm.
There you have a simple clinch knot! More instruction on rigging up your rod can be found by Googling “rigging a fishing rod”. There are many good sites full of information on this topic that will come up. You may also find information on the rod manufacturer’s site.
3- Take your small stick bobber float and attach it to your line approximately two feet from your hook as shown.
4 – Here is the part that gets to people… baiting the hook! Yuck! Take the worm and thread it onto the hook as shown in #4 in under Five Simple Steps in the guide.
If real live worms are too much for you, you can use something called Power Bait or Gulp made by Berkley. These products are available at your local sporting goods store as well. It does not riggle around and can be kept in its sealed container for use on another fishing trip.
5 – Now that your rod is rigged and baited, find a spot along the bank of your local lake, pond, ect. Look for a place where you can cast without getting caught up in the overhanging trees. The Berkley web site and many other such sites are great to check out for information on how to get started as well.
6 – Once you’re casted out, it won’t take long for the pan fish to find you, they are usually very active from mid April until mid October in most regions of the country and they will aggressively grab your worm or power bait. Look at your float or bobber. It will tell you when you have a bite. When the float gets pulled under and pulled a short distance away from its original spot, tighten up any slack in the line, lift your rod quickly to set the hook in the fish’s mouth and start to reel. You have just caught you first pan fish! Remember during the summer mid-day can be a slower time when the sun is high and the weather is hot.
Here are some helpful videos for casting a fishing rod.
There are many other sites so check a bunch out by Googling “casting a fishing rod”
7 – To take your hook out, usually you can push down on the hook and remove it, but it never hurts to have a small pair of pliers with you. Twist the hook and put you pan fish in a cooler with ice or throw it back if you choose.
The kids will have a ball and you will be surprised how much you enjoy the simple act of fishing and just being outdoors on a nice spring, summer or fall afternoon and let’s not forget the rewards at the dinner table!
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” ~ Chinese proverb
Here are a few sites to show you how to clean your fish and prepare it for the fish fry.
Don’t worry if catching and cleaning fish is not your thing. There are some reasonably priced fish you can buy and prepare for a fish fry. The best fish choices are listed below and can be found at a local fish market (These places are preferred as they are usually caught fresh that day. Look for clear eyes. Y ou can also ask them to fillet it for you in most places for a nominal fee) or in your local grocery store. The idea is to have fun and engage your whole family.
Fish best used for frying are those that are light such as cod, haddock or catfish. Here is another link for reading about frying your fish. http://www.ehow.com/about_4570269_frying-fish.htmlits
Google recipes for batters and dry coatings and try a couple different types to make your fish fry interesting.
Another fun idea is to have you family and friend bring the ingredients for different coatings to your fish fry and vote for the best. Remember its about having fun, fun, fun!