Go Outside and Play: Fish

Written by Terrance Davis
    Thursday, 23 May 2013
Go Outside and Play: Fish

Fishing with children is an activity that will never go out of style. There is nothing like the adrenaline rush you get when there is a fish on your line and you are wrestling to reel him in. Once that fish is out of the water flipping and spinning at the end of your pole you feel like a true fisherman. It is definitely an accomplishment. I feel this way because I have seen the look of achievement on so many faces after catching a fish. Once you get past the initial "yuck" and "no ways" when hooking worms, you see a light turn on inside of them as they realize this sport can actually be fun... until you have to take the hook out of the mouth of the fish- then there will be more expressions about how gross it is. This can sometimes be entertaining for the adult sharing in this experience.

father daughter

Fishing is widely recognized as a recreational sport across the world. It is an activity that certainly gets a lot of attention in Washington Park. Children from neighborhoods across the city come to share experiences and good times right from our canoe launch. Even if you don't have your own fishing equipment, you can still participate through our Tackle Loaner Program. This program allows families without the means to supply themselves with fishing equipment to take part in the sport. Children just need to have an adult present and they can borrow any of our fishing poles or tackle boxes.

Washington Park is the perfect spot to teach the kids to cast and familiarize them with the terms and tasks of fishing, but it is not the only place to go fishing. Other ideal places include any Milwaukee County Park with a lagoon, such as Brown Deer Park, Dineen Park, Greenfield Park, Holler Park, Kosciuszko Park, Humboldt Park, Veterans Park, Mitchell Park, and McGovern Park.

All of these parks have bodies of water in which you can fish, and have all been stocked with rainbow trout and yellow belly perch. Here at Washington Park I have seen Bullheads and several goldfish as well. No matter what type of fish it is, when you pull out of the water the level of excitement is still the same.

You may also enjoy fishing in the Milwaukee, Menomonee, and Kinnickinnic rivers for rainbow trout and salmon in addition to other species of game and pan fish. For those more experienced anglers you might want to try fishing in Lake Michigan for an even bigger fish.

Even though your adrenaline can peak once a fish bites your line, waiting for the fish to bite can be very relaxing to some. I for one believe that fishing is a wonderful stress reliever because of the connection to nature. Fishing is also a great way to bond with your children. In my own personal experience I find that most fishing environments provide a comforting feeling for children to openly express themselves. Sometimes waiting on the fish to bite allows lots of opportunity to talk. It also creates memories that your children can hold on to for ever. No matter the reason you choose to fish, if it is just for fun or if it is for dinner, fishing can be a fun time had by all. So let's get outside and play!

Don't have fishing equipment of your own? Borrow ours! Members can borrow fishing poles with a bobber, sinker and hook for up to three days for free! Learn more about our fishing equipment here, then sign up to become a member here.


Terrance Davis

Terrance Davis

Terrance Davis is the Visitor Services Specialist at our Washington Park Branch. He takes a special interest in this area because he grew up in the neighborhood on 37th & Lloyd. Terrance's affection for the area is demonstrated each day with his attention to the neighborhood children and families. The work he has done with MPS and Choice schools across the city brings him much pride. With his daughters being his main motivation, Terrance strives to make positive changes in the community.

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