Fishing for food, fitness & fun

May 11th, 2017 | By

Have you ever gone fishing? Do you fish with a piece of string and a safety pin for a hook? Or do you have a real fishing pole and hook or lure?

Here in Iowa, we have lakes, streams, and ponds loaded with catfish, trout, bluegill, bass, and even walleye. (Those bluegill really do bite a safety pin sometimes, just because it is shiny!)

Fish are yummy!

  • Grill trout or bass
  • Bake cod or catfish
  • Make tacos with those tiny bluegill

Fishing is great exercise!

  • Hike from one side of a lake to the other to find the perfect fishing hole
  • Use a row boat instead of a motor boat so you build those arm muscles
  • Carry your own tackle box and fishing gear

Fishing is great for family fun!

  • Spend the day at a nearby lake
  • Learn to fly-fish in the shallow waters of the Raccoon River
  • Take a trip to the country and fish in a farm pond

There are definitely advantages to fishing as a family. You may have a parent, grandparent, aunt, or uncle that is a fishing expert. Fishing as a sport can be very relaxing or very tiring … and everything in between. Have you read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer? If so, you might imagine yourself lazily sitting at the edge of a pond waiting for a catfish to bite. If you watch the Animal Planet Channel, you might have seen someone struggling for hours to reel in a marlin from the ocean.

Really good fishers know where the besting catching spots are. They know what kind of bait and lures and even what kind of fishing rods to use, depending on the kind of fish they want to catch.

One thing you’ll never have to “fish” for, though, is someone who shares a love for this activity. So ask your friends and family, and find a fishing buddy. Then have fun fishing. Better yet, have fun catching!


Fishing rules and things to remember:

Iowa requires people who are 16 years old and older to have a fishing license. Licenses can be obtained here:

You should only fish in public places where fishing is allowed.
You need to have permission to fish on private property, like at a pond on a friend’s farm.
Remember to be respectful when other people are fishing near you … shhh or you’ll scare the fish away and annoy other people who are fishing!

You can learn more at:

Here are a few fishing spots right here in Des Moines:

Blue Heron Lake
At Raccoon River Park

City Campus Pond
On Mills Civic Parkway

Copper Creek Lake
On University Avenue

Des Moines River
Many public access spots in the metro

Fort Des Moines Pond
Near Southridge Mall

Gray’s Lake
Across from Water Works

Raccoon River
At Walnut Woods State Park

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