UF’s Family Fishing Days event returns

Anglers of all ages and experience levels can attend an upcoming Family Fishing Day event, held each month through November at the University of Florida’s catch-and-release fishing ponds located at 7922 NW 71st St.

The events, part of the Fishing For Success educational program within the UF/IFAS School of Forest, Fisheries, and Geomatics Sciences, have historically been hosted from March through November. The 2020 season was planned and ready to begin when the COVID-19 pandemic postponed it.

“We’re excited for the return of this educational, family-friendly event,” said Crystal Hartman, a UF biologist who coordinates the Fishing For Success program. “The Family Fishing Days have been active for over 20 years and have taught many in our community how to fish. We have parents who came as youth, who are now bringing their children.”

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Each event starts at 8 a.m. and wraps up by noon. Anglers are welcome to bring their own equipment or borrow from the available rods and bait. Accessible ramps allow everyone to join in the fun.

The freshwater ponds contain largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish and channel catfish. As an outdoor event, social distancing is easy on the six acres of ponds. The monthly events are themed to make each experience unique. There are often giveaways for participants, as well, and raffle prizes have included items like fishing poles.

  • Aug. 21: Back to School Bonanza
  • Sept. 18: Aquatic Education Day
  • Oct. 16: Spooky Candy Day
  • Nov. 13: Veteran’s Day BBQ and Sharon Fitz-Coy Memorial

Volunteers are needed at the Family Fishing Days. A wide range of opportunities are offered based on experience and interest, including day-of event support, fishing pole care and maintenance, aquatic weed control, and preparing print materials. To volunteer, contact Hartman at c.hartman@ufl.edu and for more information, go to the website at Fishing For Success.

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