FISH BUSTERS' BULLETIN: Bream destinations great for kids

Published: Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 06:00 AM.

Virtually all of Florida’s fresh waters are brimming with bream, which include bluegill, redear sunfish, redbreast sunfish and spotted sunfish.

These sporty little fish are many a kid’s first catch, introducing them to a lifetime of fishing fun. They provide great opportunities for shoreline fishing using simple cane poles or spinning rods. License-free freshwater fishing weekends are a great time for adults to introduce kids to fishing and see if they and you would like to take up the sport.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) schedules the first of four license-free recreational freshwater fishing days on the first full weekend in April each year (April 5-6 this year), because it is such a productive fishing time, and the weather is usually pleasant. Many of Florida’s recreational sport fishes, such as black bass, bluegill and redear sunfish, move into the shallows to spawn during spring, making them more available for anglers to catch.

During license-free freshwater fishing weekends (the first weekend in April and the second weekend in June) no recreational fishing license is required; however, all other bag limit, season, gear and size restrictions apply on these dates for recreational fishing. The FWC invites you to take this opportunity to take your family, friends and colleagues fishing.

Children don’t need a fishing license until they are 16, but parents may buy them one at any time and they won’t expire until they are 17. This helps the FWC attain additional revenue from the Federal Aid in Sportfish Restoration program to improve their fishing and gives the child pride in belonging to the angling community.

Fishing is a low-cost, wholesome form of entertainment that often pays for itself with healthy food for the table. An annual license is only $17.50 for residents.

To further encourage recreational fishing, the FWC will conduct a special contest during April to collect photos of anglers. All you have to do is post a photo of your family fishing in Florida’s fresh waters on Twitter or Instagram with #FWC-FamilyFishing. In return for your efforts, the FWC will enter your name into a drawing for one of six surprise packages, each including a $50 gift card, compliments of Bass Pro Shops and TrophyCatch, and another $50 worth of assorted fishing lures, hooks, line and goodies to make your next trip even more productive.

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