Fishing Creates Lasting Family Memories

The old joke goes, “A bad day fishing is better than a good day at work.” There’s definitely some truth to that statement. It’s pretty tough to find a person having a bad day fishing, even if the fish aren’t biting. This is especially true if they are spending the day with good company.

Fishing is one of the greatest ways I know of to spend time together as a family. For as long as I can remember, fishing has been an important aspect of my life. I’ve always loved catching fish, but now when I reflect on why fishing was so important to me as a youth, I realize it wasn’t the fish. It was the people I was spending time fishing with.

These days, I am doing my best to pass a love of fishing on to my own two daughters. We’re fortunate to live on a small lake that’s full of fish. We often catch bass, bluegill and crappie in our own backyard. It’s wonderful to be able to walk out the backdoor and fish, but there is nothing more magical for building lasting memories than a fishing trip.

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My daughters and I recently took off on a three-day fishing trip to northern Arkansas. Mommy stayed home, so this was a true daddy and daughter experience. We stayed at Gaston’s Resort in a wonderful cabin, and fished the White River and Dry Run Creek.

I hired a guide from Gaston’s for two days on the White River. Doing so allowed me to be able to relax and focus on my children. Without a guide, I would have been occupied with locating fish, driving the boat, anchoring, tying knots and fixing tangles. Even though I still helped with some of this, the guide handled most of it, so I was able to focus on helping my girls cast, netting their fish and taking pictures.

Spending three-days on the road with my 9-year old and 8-year old girls created memories that will last the rest of my life. I hope they too will always remember the adventure. I believe they will, because I vividly remember similar trips from my youth.

I was fortunate to have family members who took me fishing when I was a kid, but maybe you weren’t. And maybe you have thought before that fishing sounds like fun and you think you’d enjoy it, but you just don’t know where to begin. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources offers free classes that will teach you everything you need to know to start fishing and to take children with you.

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Indiana DNR’s Go FishIN program provides opportunities to educate individuals and families about how, when and where to go fishing. There are events where equipment is provided. The workshops are free. To learn more about the Go FishIN program, visit

A great time to give fishing a try is on one of the state’s free fishing days. This year, three such days remain. They are May 16, and June 6-7. On these days, Indiana residents do not need a fishing license or a trout/salmon stamp to fish the state’s public waters.

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Brandon Butler
Long-time outdoor writer and native Hoosier Brandon Butler lives in Missouri and serves as the Executive Director of the Conservation Federation of Missouri. Previously, he worked with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources as Governor Mitch Daniels’ liaison to the department, Director of Sales and Marketing for Dominator365 and as the Marketing Manager Battenfeld Technologies, Inc.


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