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Want to learn how to fish? This free fishing program at PINS is a 'reel' catch

Posted at 4:53 PM, Jun 26, 2024
  • Padre Island National Seashore (PINS) is starting a new free fishing program called Learn to Surf Fish
  • For all ages, will be offered Sat. June 29 and all Saturdays in July
  • Starts at 9:30 a.m. at the Malaquite Visitor Center and goes for an hour and a half

Have you or your child ever wanted to learn all the basics of fishing but didn't know where to start? Look no further than Padre Island National Seashore (PINS) newest program, Learn to Surf Fish!

This program is designed for all ages and is very kid-friendly. Learn to Surf Fish will teach the absolute beginner about all things fishing.

From basic tackle, knot tying, casting, to conservation and angler etiquette, park staff and volunteers will help participants gain the knowledge to pick up fishing as a new hobby or sport. Learn to Surf Fish starts with a classroom session and then the group will move down to Malaquite Beach to fish for the remainder of the session.

“So the basic curriculum of the program, we’ll go over all of the basics of the rods, and the reel. We’ll go over tackle that can be used, not just for surf fishing but fishing in general. We’ll talk about stewardship and conversation and how you can be an ethical angler," Tommy Digiovanangelo, a PINS Park Ranger said.

The program is scheduled at 9:30 a.m. for 5 Saturdays in a row, starting June 29. If these sessions are a success, the PINS staff want to make Learn to Surf Fish a more year-round program.

“That is what us in interpretation and education are here for is to interact with people. So without people coming to the park we wouldn’t have a job," Digiovanangelo said.

Digiovanangelo has been a park ranger at PINS for about two years. He said that getting people involved in these programs is one of his favorite parts of the job.

“We have a couple volunteers that we are calling fishing ambassadors that are locals to the area that come out here every weekend and go fishing. They’re going to be out here helping with the program. We will also have out fish and feathers intern," Digiovanangelo said.

While you are encouraged to have fun and take pictures with the fish you catch during the program, all fishing during the program is catch and release. All fishing equipment will be provided for participants.

“So all the fishing gear is provided. All they need to bring is themselves and be prepared for the weather conditions. So, drinking water, hat, sunscreen, clothes you can get wet in. We are going to be right next to the ocean so there is a potential to get wet," Digiovanangelo said.

The Sat. June 29 Learn to Surf Fish session is full, you can still sign up for the following Saturday sessions by calling the Malequite Visiotor Center at 361-949-8068.

“Really the whole idea of this program is just to get people engaged with their park and find another way to recreate out here," Digiovanangelo said.

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