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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

April 28, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Keep opening day of trout fishing this Saturday, and beyond kid friendly

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Fishing isn’t as tough as some may think, especially for trout and other game fish.

Keep it simple and purchase a simple light spinning rod and reel will set you back about $20. Some also come as kits that include bobbers, sinkers, hooks and snap swivels. Outside of that, all you need is some bait.

Have your child practice casting in the backyard. In less than an hour he or she should master the technique.

When the weather warms up in the summer and the trout are fished out of local lakes, try catching panfish like yellow perch, crappie, sunfish or catfish, which are plentiful. Early morning trips aren’t necessary to catch panfish.

If they get bored with fishing, have a bite to eat or a snack, look for a playground nearby, take a walk or skip rocks on the water or bring along some toys, books, table games or cards to pass the time.

Families can try fishing during Free Fishing Weekend on June 11-12. No fishing license is required, but you are required to keep a catch record for some fish species.

Wear the proper clothes. It is better for them to overdress than to have a cold, miserable kid. Have them layer the clothing. You can always take clothes off as the day warms up.

Kids should always wear life jackets when around water. By law, children 12 and younger must wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket when in a boat smaller than 19 feet in length.

State Fish and Wildlife and the C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation offer kids a chance to learn about fishing.

The event’s ponds and lakes are stocked with hatchery rainbow trout, and while it is still called fishing, the odds of catching them are better.

All of the events are different, and while a few are free others will request a nominal fee of $5 to $10. Some give out rods and reels kids can take home or they provide loaners, and others require kids to bring their own fishing gear.

C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation events: June 4, Gene Coulon Park in Renton on Lake Washington (425-251-3202); and June 18, Island Lake in Poulsbo (360-337-5350).

State Fish and Wildlife events: April 30, Mill Pond in Auburn, Federal Way Lions Club; May 1, Lake Tye in Monroe, Snohomish Sky Valley Trout Unlimited; May 7, Columbia Park in Kennewick (509-392-2128); May 7, Clear Lake in Spokane; May 7, Lake Albert in Langley on Whidbey Island, Holmes Harbor Rod & Gun Club; May 7, Northern State Pond in Sedro-Woolley, Skagit Wildcat Steelheaders Club; May 14, Silver Lake in Everett (425-257-8300, ext. 2); May 14, Sequim’s Kids Fishing Day, more information to follow soon; May 21, American Lake at Cascade Park in Lakewood, more information to follow soon; May 21, Bradley Lake in Tacoma, Pierce Tacoma Sportsman Club & Gopaw; May 21, Gissburg Pond north of Marysville, KIDS Fishing Event no registration required; May 21, Portable Pond in Seattle, West Seattle Sportsman’s Club; June 12, Upper Twin in Arlington; and July 17, Merwin Hatchery in Cowlitz (800-899-4421).

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