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Teacher: Valerie Cook who teaches at Christian Academy of Louisville in Louisville, KY. Valerie Cook can be contacted at

Name of Best Practice: Fishing Unit with Field Trip

Rationale/Purpose of Event: To increase interest and knowledge of fishing (spincast and flyfishing) as a sport/recreation and an addition to the curriculum in your Outdoor Education Physical Education programs.

Suggested Grade Level: 4-12

Materials Needed: Fishing poles for each student. Any kind can be used as long as they are taught how to use it. For beginners the push button models are recommended. Fishing Tackle (rubber fishing plugs for practice spincasting, bobbers, lures, hooks ~ use BARBLESS or push barb in with a pliers, pliers, scissors for tangled lines, fishing line, gloves, worms or plastic worms, etc.) Tackle box to keep the supplies and First Aid Kit. Students should also wear hats and sunglasses (to protect eyes from students accidently hitting them with a hook and the hats protect from a hook in the head) Body of water to fish and possibly life jackets depending on if fishing from shore or on a dock/boat.

Fishing Unit with Field Trip

1. Students are taught how to put on hooks and swivels by learning how to tie two kinds of knots (clinch knot is a very common knot).

2. Students are taught how to put on bobbers, weights, and bait/lures.

3. Students are taught how to cast their fishing poles with safety emphasis using Circle of Safety technique where no student is around when students make a circle with their pole around them (proper casting technique using casting plugs, wearing sunglasses, proper clothing, etc.).

4. Students are taught how to catch and release a fish putting fush belly first carefully back in water.

5. We then go fish (spincast)at a pond that is on our campus for several days in the unit.

6. For next activity unit we practice how to flyfish (Rods that I bought with a grant I won a couple of years ago, at a target on the soccer field.

7. The class (95 girls, mind you) takes a field trip to Frankfort Game and Wildlife Farm to spincast and flyfish all day with some of their parents. Circle of Safety is emphasized! (What a great way to apply and summarize everything they have learned in one full day).

8. Next day, we review the trip and all that we learned.

9. Test over fishing skills and knowledge.


The following link is the Future Fisherman Foundation. They have fishing and boating grant programs for Physical Educators if you are an AAHPERD member.

Teaching Suggestions/Tips:

Bring in experienced fishing persons from your local bass associations and State Fish and Wildlife Departments for assistance in teaching and learning the rules and state regulations. Many already have valuable educational information ready for classroom use.

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Posted on PEC: 11/26/2005 and has received 70 votes.

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