If you would like to get the family involved in fishing, mark May 18 on the calendar.
There will be two â€śFamily Learn to Fishâ€ť events that day â€” one in South Bend and another in Elkhart â€” during which you and the kids can learn fishing basics and get a chance to wet a line.
Both are sponsored by the Indiana DNR.
The South Bend event will be conducted at Pinhook Park. The Elkhart event will be â€śFamily Learn to Fish the Riverâ€ť at Island Park.
Hours are 9 a.m. to noon at both events and there is no charge nor is a fishing license required because it is a free fishing day in Indiana. All youngsters must be accompanied by an adult.
Families with children age 6 and older can learn basic fishing techniques, skills and fish biology. Elkhart attendees will learn about the fish in the Elkhart and St. Joseph rivers. Participants will put their new skills to the test while fishing the two rivers surrounding the park.
South Bend attendees will get to fish the pond.
Poles and tackle will be provided, but anyone interested in bringing their own poles is welcome to do so.
Advance registration is required. Registration is open until May 15 or until all spots are filled. To register, visit the DNR Calendar: https://bit.ly/2PpqBWr.
The bluegill bag limit, along with other Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) proposals outlined here last Sunday, remain in limbo.
First, let me correct a technical error I made last week. I wrote that the proposals were going before the Natural Resources Commission (NRC), when in fact they went before an Advisory Council that advises the NRC.
According to DNR Communications Director Tara Wolf, the process calls for the DFW to appear before the Council and make its case for each proposal. The Council then decides which proposals ultimately go before the NRC, which then decides whether the proposal is worthy.
Ah, state bureaucracy. Gotta love it.
As of Friday, Wednesdayâ€™s meeting minutes werenâ€™t posted on the NRC site and no DNR announcement was made regarding the outcome.
Wolf, in a response to our emails, said that the Council didnâ€™t take action on any of the proposals and requested the (DFW) staff continue to review the proposals.
Review â€¦ again? Does that mean the DFW didnâ€™t do its homework in the first place?
OK, so now what?
â€śIt is anticipated that the proposals will come back to the Advisory Council at their next meeting,â€ť Wolf wrote.
When is that?
â€śThe meeting hasnâ€™t been scheduled yet,â€ť she replied.
As we shake our heads and chuckle, weâ€™re left to assume the DNR will resume kicking this can down the road. Anglers can continue filling their coolers with as many bluegills as they want.
Michigan and Indiana have some free fishing days in the coming weeks. That means you wonâ€™t need a fishing license, but all other regulations apply.
Indiana will offer one May 18 and June 1-2. Unfortunately, Indianaâ€™s free fishing days are limited to residents.
Michiganâ€™s free fishing days, June 8-9, are open to residents and non-residents. In addition, the recreation passport isnâ€™t required, so there wonâ€™t be charges to use state-owned public boating access sites.
Dan Posey of Niles earned a berth in the B.A.S.S. Federation Nation National Championship next fall.
He qualified for the event by being the first Michigan angler in the Co-Angler Division and finishing 14th out of a field of 196 on Lake Guntersville, Ala. last month.
Posey caught 25 pounds, 4 ounces in the three-day event.
The Federation Nation National Championship will be Nov. 6-8 at Lake Hartwell, S.C.
The Michigan Natural Resources Commission has approved duck seasons and bag limits for this fall.
Season dates are similar and the only bag limit change is a reduction in pintails back to one bird this year.
Southwest Michigan waterfowl dates include a Sept. 1-16 teal season, Sept. 1 to Feb. 15, Canada geese; and South Zone ducks Oct. 12-Dec. 8 and Dec. 28-29. The youth hunt will be Sept. 22-23. Specific bag limit regulations will be announced here later.