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Free fishing weekend starts strong in North Iowa

This news story was published on June 7, 2014.
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Free Fishing Weekend starts early Saturday morning in Ventura

Free Fishing Weekend starts early Saturday morning in Ventura

CLEAR LAKE – North Iowa anglers are heading out to take advantage of the nice weather and an added perk – no fishing  license required.

The peninsula on the west side of Clear Lake, just south of Ventura, was getting populated early Saturday morning. Kids and adults were out looking to make that first catch.

To prepare, folks were in stores looking to stock up on the necessary equipment.

A sales clerk at Walmart made a comment, saying that “People are excited about fishing. At 1:00 AM, my line was to the jewelry section, with people buying poles and all kinds of fishing equipment.”

Iowa residents may fish without a license June 6, 7 and 8 as part of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ free fishing weekend.

Free Fishing Weekend is the first weekend in June each year. It allows Iowans an opportunity to try fishing without purchasing a license. All other regulations remain in place.

“We are experiencing some excellent fishing across the state right now at Green Valley Lake, Little River Lake, Hawthorne Lake and our trout streams and our fisheries at Rice Lake, Silver Lake and Lake Miami are being improved to provide better fishing in the future,” said Joe Larscheid, chief of the Iowa DNR’s Fisheries Bureau.

“We hope that someone who gives fishing a try during Free Fishing Weekend will enjoy the experience and want to go fishing more often and become a license holder,” Larscheid said.

Free Fishing Weekend is scheduled during what is traditionally the time when bluegills are close to shore and aggressive.

“This is a great time to take kids fishing because the chance for success is pretty good,” he said.
The best way to catch bluegills, according to Larscheid, is to use small tackle – little hooks, a bobber no larger than a quarter, 4-pound test line and small bait.


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