Washington Township is blessed with several fishing resources. We have Koehler’s Pond, “Lough Molly” pond at Califon Fields, Coleman Road Park pond and Lake George at Schooley’s Mountain Park. These are accessible bodies of water that offer residents opportunities to fish for common native fish such as pan fish, catfish and bass. Some residents may have no knowledge of fishing or basic equipment needed to do so.
The Washington Township Public Library and Washington Township Recreation Department are interested in helping kids (15 and under) get to know about basic fishing and give it a try at one of our above noted resources.
The library is offering basic fishing kits in the Library of Things from July 1 through September 6.
General Instructions –
Read Below and Watch the How-To Video
- Fishing Kits: contain a two-piece rod with attached reel and tackle box. The fishing line is already equipped with a bobber, sinker, and barbless hook. The tackle box contains a spare bobber, hook, sinker, a pair of scissors and hook remover tool. NOTE: all contents must be returned with the kit when you return the kit to the library.
- Assembly: carefully open the kit bag at the Velcro flap. Insert the top section of rod into the bottom section and align the metal ferrules so the line flows straight from the reel to the rod tip. Any twist of the line will make it difficult to cast or reel in. You may need to push the button on the reel to allow slack in the line while you assemble the rod.
- Adjusting the Line: once the rod is assembled, adjust the height of the bobber by gently pulling the fishing line down toward the hook end. The top of the bobber has a spring-loaded red cap that you can push down to make adjustment easier.
- Bait: you can use worms, grubs, pieces of raw hotdog or bacon, corn kernels, etc. You can buy baby night crawler worms or meal worms at Hoffman Supply in Long Valley (35 East Mill Road). The hooks do not have barbs on them. If you accidentally get the hook in your finger just pull it out. Be careful with the hooks as they are sharp.
- Casting: with the bobber, sinker and baited hook hanging freely from the end of the rod tip, hold down the button on the reel and gently swing the rod out toward the water. Release the reel button as the rod tip swings in the direction of the spot you want to fish. Releasing the button allows the line to flow from the reel. Once the hook, bobber and sinker are out in the water just turn the reel handle slightly to lock the line in place and allow the child to reel in the line when a fish bites the bait and pulls the bobber below the water surface. If the line does not reel in as you are cranking, turn the drag knob on the reel toward the + direction. That increases traction on the line.
- Dealing with Fish: you may catch catfish, sunfish, or bass. If so, reel the fish in using the crank on the reel. You can gently grasp the fish with your hand by holding the fish between your fingers and thumb or pinching the lower lip of the fish with your thumb and finger. The barbless hook should be easy to remove from the fish with your other hand. If the hook is deeper into the fish’s mouth, use the hook remover tool to remove the hook. In the event that the fish has swallowed the bait and hook, use the scissors to cut the line above the hook. Fish can pass these small hooks through their stomachs. Fish should be returned to the water as soon as possible.
- Fishing Regulations: this program is intended for children below the age of 16. Persons age 16-69 must have a current New Jersey fishing license. If an adult is helping a child (below the age of 16) fish then the adult does not need to get a license. If the adult takes over the task of fishing by casting, catching and reeling in the fish then they would be actively fishing and require a license. A license can be purchased at Walmart or you can purchase a license online from the NJ Div. of Fish and Wildlife at nj.aspirafocus.com
- Where to Fish: Washington Township fishing ponds include the pond at Coleman Road Park, the pond at Califon Fields, Koehler’s pond on Rock Road, or Lake George at Schooley’s Mountain park.