Inexpensive Summer Vacations


Economic conditions due to covid-19 have forced people to make hard decisions on the use of their discretionary income for recreational fishing trips. Family responsibilities demand that we do better and more efficiently add to the recreational experience.

Summer vacations might be a week or two in duration. More often, they become a day or two. Here in Kentucky and Tennessee, public land use offers a multitude of state parks, federal land and local parks, providing chances for all members of the family to enjoy good fishing.

Fishing “Happy Hours” by its very definition involve all members of the family and all levels of fishing expertise. In order to fulfill that demand, we have to look closer to home to make maximum use of the time available, ensuring an enjoyable experience that is both rewarding and worthy of repeating. The rewards of introducing youngsters to fishing are many, and they offer the opportunity of passing along simple traditions and ethics in the outdoors.

Advanced anglers may want to use sophisticated tackle. But for the novice, tackle should remain simple. It can be as simple as a bamboo pole, line and hook. For the more advanced, but not highly sophisticated angler, it can mean a simple spincast rod and reel combo. If the demand is there, later one can move to more sophisticated tackle.

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“Happy Hours” are good times to teach simple conservation messages such messages as catch-and-release, picking up litter and the importance of clean water quality. Research shows that children who feel connected with nature have better physical, mental and emotional health.

Do not overlook the time spent in planning trips afield. Finding new places to fish near home can be an enjoyable activity for all members of the family. It is a time to explain to the younger set just what to look for in a new fishing hole. Maps downloaded from the internet help in the plan to fish specific parts of a lake or river. They provide a teaching moment without taking up valuable fishing time.

An excellent online source of information about lakes and parks owned by the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources is their official website at There are locations and advice on how to plan “Happy Hours” near home.