*updated post from June, 2022*
Enjoy the Great Outdoors on Clear Lake
BY: RACHEL WUMKES
It’s free fishing weekend in Clear Lake, Iowa. The perfect time to put a line in the water and try your luck at catching the big one!
Fishing, also referred to as angling, is the sport of catching fish in either fresh or salt water. Participants typically use tools like a rod, line and hook. Similar to hunting, fishing began as a means of providing food for survival. Over time, it morphed into a sport. Now days, anglers enter tournaments and vie for the top prize in catching either the biggest or the most fish.
But fishing can also be done for fun. There’s nothing quite like that feeling when your line pulls tight. Next, you feel the gentle tug of a fish nibbling on your bait. You rear back, setting the hook and then turn the reel as you pull the fish into shore.
Fishing is an activity that can be enjoyed by anyone. It crosses all barriers put forth by other social lines. Fish don’t care what color you are, your economic status, or your cultural background. To throw a line in the water and reel in a big one – well, that can be done by anyone, anywhere, anytime.
For the most part.
In Iowa, anyone age 16 and older needs a fishing license. They can be purchased as a day pass, weekend pass, or for the entire season. To learn more about fishing licenses and how to obtain one, go to https://www.fishing.org/licenses/iowa
However, the first weekend in June each year, anglers of ANY AGE are given a free pass. The Iowa DNR utilizes this weekend to encourage the love for outdoors and invites Iowa residents to fish without the need of a license.
All other laws, however, are to be followed as normal. This means you’ll need to research the rules of your river or lake to ensure you keep and release the appropriate size fish. You can find a listing of Iowa Fish Size and Limits at https://www.fishing.org/licenses/iowa as well.
So, get your tackle box ready and thread a new line in your favorite pole because this Friday, Saturday and Sunday we’re going fishing!!
As an added bonus, The Iowa Department of Natural Resources will hold a youth fishing clinic at the park shelter near Ventura Grade on Saturday, June 3rd. The clinic is designed for youth ages 5 to 15 and will begin at 8:30am. Following the clinic, the Clear Lake Fishing Club is holding their annual fishing tournament for kids ages 0 to 15 years old. The event will take place on Saturday, June 4th from 10am to 1pm at the Ventura Grade parking lot. Food and prizes will be gien to kids participating in the kid’s tournament.
Both the clinic and the tournament are FREE!
The purpose of the clinic is to give participants a basic knowledge of fish, fishing, laws, and safety. It’s the kickoff to National Fishing Week. Introducing kids to this outdoor activity will help promote the sport and, for many, allows it to become a life-long hobby.
The benefits of fishing to kids, as well as adults, are endless. Fresh air – nature – and no screens!
Other benefits of the sport include an increase of mental focus by spending time outdoors. This helps young eyes develop and shifts the attention spans into nature. Fishing also encourages the feeling of confidence and empowerment. In fact, if you ever went fishing as a kid, you probably remember reeling in your first catch like it was yesterday.
The Clear Lake Fishing Club looks forward to seeing the kids every year, so make sure you get over to Ventura and have all the fun!
Tight lines, friends!