As we head toward the weekend, you might be thinking about being on the water. Summer is here and in Sportsman's Paradise, fishing is huge. Some prefer to get out into the Gulf of Mexico for some salt water fishing, while others prefer freshwater.
According to Gabe Giffin of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, in Louisiana the possibilities are endless, even if you don't have a boat! He says, "The beauty of Louisiana's roadside fishing attractions are that many are on Louisiana state highways and along many bayous and canals in Louisiana."
This weekend is special because you don't need a fishing license. It's Louisiana's Free Fishing Weekend. Since all licenses expire on June 30th, getting one now means you still have a full year of fun.
"That's kind of one of the reasons we have free fishing weekend." Giffin adds, "It's to give everyone out there a bit of a lapse period in the month of June to say hey, your fishing license might be expiring. It's okay this weekend, but go ahead and get it renewed for the new season."
This can also introduce kids to fishing. For adults who don't necessarily fish a lot, here's a chance to get together as a family. Who knows, you might like it.
"People are mostly concerned about not catching anything, and one of the things we've done in our state is stock our community fishing ponds. So for a parent who is a little more hesitant to go way far out to try and fish, there's somewhere right in your community where you can go fish.", says Giffin.
And one of those stocked ponds is in Girard Park!
David Mitchell enjoys fishing at the Girard Park pond. He thinks the fishing opportunities benefit everyone. He says, "It's great to get the kids out the house. Get them something to do. It's a great idea. It's mainly for the family. Family and what's the word I'm looking for, sportsmanship of it"
Of course we're hoping for great weather.
Giffin says, "It's very interesting to see just how the weather dictates how many people we find on Louisiana's waterways. Free fishing weekend is about getting people out there, taking away the hesitation, that little unknown out of the picture and giving you an opportunity to just go fishing in Louisiana"
If you need more information on regulations, or if you need to renew your fishing license, you can find everything you need at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Website.