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What are some ways to introduce my family to fishing?

April 2024 Issue

Wei-Wei Lin
Photo by Addy Preston

Wei-Wei Lin serves as a game warden in the Hill Country after holding posts in Dallas/Fort Worth, the Gulf Coast and South Texas. She was often featured on the TV show “Lone Star Law.” She is happy to answer your questions about the Texas outdoors.

kid with fish
Photo by Daniel Castaneda


Q:
Wei-Wei, this spring I would like to introduce my family members to fishing. Do you have recommendations of how I can get started?

A: Fishing is such a rewarding outdoor activity! When I was a child, my mother would take my sister and me to the local marina on a lake, and we would use corn kernels and some pieces of chicken to catch fish in the evenings. I even participated in a “kid fish” event when I was very young at the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens. I still have photos from that event in my photo albums. Those were some fond memories, and they greatly influenced my dreams of becoming a game warden.

While fishing on public bodies of water in Texas, a valid fishing license is required for anyone 17 years or older. You can purchase a license on the TPWD webpage. On ponds and lakes surrounded by private property and in Texas state parks (from the shore/dock), no fishing licenses are required. On public bodies of water, please be sure to check the Texas Outdoor Annual app for size and bag limits on various species of fish. If you have any questions, please contact your local game warden.

One of the handiest resources is the TPWD Community Fishing Lakes website. There, you can find fish stocking schedules for public waterways near you and start planning your trip. TPWD stocks fish year-round with channel catfish in summer months and rainbow trout in the winter.

Through my career, I assisted with many public fishing events that cater to both adults and children. When I worked in Tarrant County, the regional water district hosted annual kid fish events catering to kids under the age of 17. Every kid was guaranteed a catch! For kid fish events on the coast, we utilized local game warden patrol boats to take kids fishing out into the bay. Check with your local municipalities to see if any similar events are coming up. There are also fishing workshops available year-round from various outdoor-related organizations and groups.

kids fishing in Lake Corpus Christi SP
Photo by Maegan Lanham

Community events like these are great for beginners because Texas game wardens and other experts are on hand to show you the ropes. Generous donors often supply the events with fishing rods and bait to help get you started. More importantly, you and your family get outside and mingle among your community.

Until next time. Stay safe, y'all!

Have a question for the game warden? Email us at magazine@tpwd.texas.gov and we will pass it along to Wei-Wei.


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