One unique idea for Mother’s Day would be to take your mother or wife fishing. Women enjoy a day of being outdoors with their families, and fishing is the perfect outdoor activity for families. The key is to take care of all the details ahead of time and remember that the only goal of a Mother’s Day fishing trip is her enjoyment.
Planning your fishing trip requires a location to fish. If you have permission to fish in a private pond or can fish from a boat, the answer is easy. Boat ramps in Alabama can be found in the boating and fishing sections of www.outdooralabama.com. Each boat ramp has its own webpage with details about the facilities such as picnic tables and restrooms.
A list, by county, of the bank fishing opportunities in Alabama can also be found on the website at www.OutdoorAlabama.com/fishing/freshwater/where/regions/. While a number of fishing locations are available in each county, virtually all Alabamians have exceptionally high quality public fishing within an hour and a half of where they live.
The Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division currently has 21 State Public Fishing Lakes in 19 counties, These lakes, also called county lakes, provide fishing from grassy banks and fishing piers, and offer concessions such as bait and snacks. They also have restroom facilities.
The permit to fish these lakes is $3.00 for anglers 12 and older, though Alabamians age 16 through 64 must also have a fishing, hunting or Wildlife Heritage License (16 and older for non-residents). The availability of picnic facilities, grills and pavilions varies by lake. These lakes also offer aluminum boat rental, and anglers may launch their own boat for a small fee. Pike County Lake is the exception to what is available at the county lakes. Anglers at Pike County Lake must adhere to fishing license requirements, but no daily permit is needed. Pike County Lake does not offer concessions, boat rental or restrooms.
Once a location and date have been established, food and drink are essential. Whether a picnic or a stop at special restaurant satisfies mom’s meal needs, snacks and drinks should also be purchased ahead of time for the fishing trip. A tablecloth, paper towels, utensils, cups and plates might also be needed.
Try to keep your fishing plans flexible. Bank fishing often means fishing for bream, so small hooks, split shot sinkers, small bobbers (corks), and live bait such as worms or crickets should be purchased ahead of time. State Public Fishing Lakes carry bait so call ahead to see if they have what you need. Some anglers do not enjoy using live bait, so small lures such as spinners can be purchased as well.
If Mom doesn’t own fishing tackle, a rod and reel might make a perfect Mother’s Day gift. Many manufacturers now make rods and reels specifically designed for women. If she does not fish often, a spin cast rod and reel combination may be the best choice.
Plan ahead to make this year’s Mother’s Day a special event for the woman/women in your life. If a Mother’s Day fishing trip does not work with your family plans this year, consider paying for her to go to Alabama’s Becoming an Outdoors-Woman workshop (BOW) this fall. The $225 workshop is the first full weekend in October, and ladies may pick four of 40 different outdoor classes to take. For more information about BOW visit the Outdoor Adventures section of www.OutdoorAlabama.com.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Parks, State Lands, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.OutdoorAlabama.com.