Sunday, 22 May 2016

Sunday May 22nd, 2016 Fishing

It’s the May Long Weekend, which means that walleye fishing season is now open! While the Thunder Bay Public Library (TBPL) may not come to mind as somewhere to go for your fishing needs, it should! Along with our many books and dvds on fishing, TBPL is also a TackleShare Loaner Site for the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH).

The TackleShare program, which is presented by Ontario Power Generation, was launched in 1998 as a way of giving new and young anglers a chance to fish for free. TBPL was one of the first libraries to partner with OFAH for this program; we’ve been a loaner site for many years. Children and youth ages 16 and under are able to sign out a rod, reel, and some tackle for a week from the Brodie or Waverley Resource Libraries. Coupled with the fact that anyone under the age of 18 doesn’t need a fishing license (as long as they have some form of valid id that indicates their name and birthdate), thanks to TackleShare, all young anglers will need to go fishing is some bait!

After your kids have their equipment, they may also need some fishing pointers. Jeff Burlingame’s How to Freshwater Fish Like a Pro is a great starting point. Burlingame provides an overview of the sport, complete with information on fishing safety and tips to land their first fish. Burlingame’s book is American, but all of the basics still apply; just be sure to check the 2016 Ontario Fishing Regulations for the specific walleye limits in the lake you’re wanting to fish. Another good choice is Hook, Line and Sinker: Everything Kids Want to Know About Fishing by Italo Labignan. Labignan’s book illustrates how to properly cast a rod; it even shows kids how to make their own tackle box! For tweens and teens, try Ultimate Freshwater Fishing by John Bailey; it goes into a lot more detail than the other two books but is a little too advanced for younger kids.

Of course we don’t just have juvenile fishing books. We have many adult books on fishing for beginners and veterans alike. But because walleye season is now open, I recommend checking out our excellent books specifically on catching them. Tournament fisher Mark Romanack shares his walleye fishing secrets in Catch More Walleyes. This book is full of great tips and tricks on everything from bait and tackle to trolling; with Romanack’s help you’ll be catching walleye like a pro! Another excellent choice is Walleye Patterns & Presentations: How to Catch Trophy Fish in Lakes, Rivers and Reservoirs. Like Catch More Walleyes, this book also gives an overview of the basics of bait and tackle but it is not as comprehensive on these areas as Romanach’s book. Where Walleye Patterns & Presentations really shines is in its detailed explanation of walleye habits; reading this book will give you a good understanding of where to find walleye in a lake, no fish-finder required.

While I’ve highlighted walleye fishing here, there are many other types of fish you can catch. Some fish, like largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, and yellow perch are open all year long. Other fish, like muskellunge, aren’t open for another month. The library has some books on how to catch these and other fish; just be sure to check the 2016 Ontario Fishing Regulations to find out more information on when it’s okay to fish and how many of each type of fish you can catch.

And don’t forget, this year’s License Free Family Fishing week is July 2-10th. If you’re without a license, make sure you plan your fishing trip then so your whole family will be able to fish license-free!

Shauna Kosoris

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