Fishing: It’s Not Really About The Fish

By kncitom on January 18, 2023
Photo: Nikki Urquhart

The International Sportsman’s Expo is this Thursday through Sunday at Cal-Expo and- full disclosure, I’ll be there with our radio station’s Street Team as part of a paid appearance. But, that’s not why I’m writing this. Really. 

In it’s 36th year, the Expo is a chance for all outdoor lovers to gear up for the warmer seasons ahead. And this year, I’m lucky enough to be a part of it again: on Saturday, I’ll be at the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s free fishing tank in Building C from noon to two. It’s a great chance for your kids to dip a line and be guaranteed to catch a fat, wiggly trout. I wish Folsom lake was as sure a bet. Volunteers from several area high school bass clubs are there to assist and you don’t need anything – rod and bait are provided.

Sure, the fish tank is a fun, quick diversion for you and your kid. But the cool thing is- it could lead to a new hobby or a full-blown passion. Recently, for whatever reason, there has been a downward trend for recreational fishing in California- according to the latest numbers, we’re among the bottom ten in the country. Maybe people think it’s too difficult to learn, or they don’t know where to go, which is sad because there may not be a more diverse state for fishing opportunities.

Just in our area there are several lakes and waterways where you can go and you don’t need a boat once you get there. One of the best is Collins Lake, in Yuba County. Privately operated, the lake has a top shelf trout planting program, and fishing from shore is as easy as putting your car in park and walking a few steps down to the lakeshore. Another, once the weather gets better? Donner Lake. All the docks on along Old Donner Pass Road are open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. And there’s even a handicap accessible pier. And Donner, too, is well-stocked with rainbow trout. Plus it has some big mackinaw and brown trout that like to snack on those planter rainbows. Also, for easy access with the family, check out Lake Camanche. Another privately-run entity, there are two well stocked trout ponds adjacent to the main lake. Of course, make sure to have a valid fishing license (kids under 16 don’t need one though!) and some places, like Collins and Camanche, will charge an additional day fee. Maybe easiest of all, the Department of Fish and Wildlife has a free “Fishing in the City” program where they stock ponds in city parks. Click here for more on that.

The best thing about fishing is there are no ugly places to fish. Even if they’re not biting (which happens!!), just getting and being outdoors with your family can go a long way towards soothing frayed nerves and creating memories. 

Still unsure of your skill set? That’s what the Sportsman’s Expo is for! Yes, this is a plug for the event but it really is the best chance to talk to guides, resort operators, tackle and gear retailers and other experts, all in one location. So if you’ve been thinking that fishing might be a fun way for your family to hang out together- and to put some fresh food on the dinner table- hit the Expo this weekend and make sure to come by the DFW fish tank. You’re kids will smile, and you will too.