Between the magazine, Radio WaterLine, speaking at seminars, and my side gig as the Fish Coach, I spend a lot of time on angler education. Over the next several months, I’ll be spending a bit more than usual. I’m working with the Charlotte County Library System to offer a multi-course “Learn To Fish” seminar series.
Of course, there are a lot of fishing seminars that you can attend, especially this time of year. What makes this one any different? Well, aside from the incredibly charismatic speaker, these are meant to be hands-on experiences. It’s not just talk — when possible, you also get to do. In my experience, you’re likely to retain more information that way. Plus, there will be goodies handed out at some of the events (no, not brownies).
Each event will be held three times — at the Englewood Library (3450 North Access Road, Englewood) on the first Saturday of the month, then the Mid-County Regional Library (2050 Forrest Nelson Blvd., Port Charlotte) on the second Saturday, and wrapping up at the Punta Gorda Charlotte Library (401 Shreve Street, Punta Gorda) on the third Saturday. Each event will start at 10:30 a.m and is scheduled for one hour.
Following is a list of all the seminars in the series, hosted by yours truly:
NOVEMBER: Finding the right rod and reel — Having the right tackle makes a huge difference in your success. View and handle various rod and reel combos, from ultralight to big game gear, and learn in which situations each is used.
DECEMBER: Choosing and using artificial baits — View and handle a wide variety of different lures and artificial baits, learning when and how each is used to target different fish species in Southwest Florida. Special attention will be paid to selecting colors based on conditions.
JANUARY: Tying knots that won’t fail — There are hundreds of knots used for fishing, but you only need a few really good ones. These will serve you in any and all circumstances, and they’re not difficult to learn. By the time you leave class, you’ll be able to tie your own great knots.
FEBRUARY: Rigging soft plastic lures — A properly rigged soft plastic bait is one of the most effective artificial lures but get it wrong and you probably won’t catch anything. Learn several ways to rig a soft plastic bait for different conditions and bring some rigged baits home to use.
MARCH: Becoming a better caster — The ability to throw a lure or bait where you want it is a valuable skill that every angler needs to develop. The good news is it’s easy to set up a practice area — even indoors. For beginner and intermediate casters.
APRIL: How to fight and land a fish — Pick up tips for battling fish of any size, from setting your drag to maximizing your rod’s leverage. You’ll get to bend the rod, with your instructor standing in as the fish. Fish landing and handling skills are also taught.
MAY: Taking a great fish photo — In today’s catch-and-release world, the only evidence an angler has of most catches is the photos taken. Learn how to take the best possible pictures, both solo and with others, so people will believe your fishing stories.
Each seminar will have an open question-and-answer session in which participants may ask any and all fishing-related questions. I’ll even try to come up with answers.
As you probably noticed, the topics are geared mostly toward beginners or those who are “re-learning” things now that they’re in a new place. That’s intentional. Many of the seminars offered in the area assume that attendees already know a bit about local fishing, so a lot of the information flies right over a newbie’s head. These talks will cover a lot of the basics, so people won’t be lost when they attend a seminar targeted at more advanced anglers.
As library programs, these seminars will be free and open to anyone who wants to attend. You’ll get the most out of them if you attend the full course, but of course that’s not required. I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of you showing up!
Contact Capt. Josh Olive at 941-276-9657 or Publisher@WaterLineWeekly.com.