Oklahoma City's free "Hooked on Fishing" children's fishing classes are perfect bait to lure kids outdoors to enjoy nature.
The classes, sponsored by the Oklahoma City Parks and Recreation Department, are geared toward children 5 to 15 years old. The first class is 8 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Metro Technology Center's Springlake Campus, 1900 Springlake Drive, but the parks will rotate and the dates will vary for each class, held select Saturdays through August.
"Fishing is a great sport," said parks department spokesperson Jennifer Lindsey-McClintock. "You're learning a new skill that teaches patience."
Instructors from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation's Aquatic Resources Education Program and an Oklahoma City's fishery's biologist will teach the classes. Surprisingly, Oklahoma City is the only municipality that has its own fishery, McClintock said.
The kids will learn how to tie knots, cast rods and identify fish in the series of classes. Participants don't need to arrive equipped, McClintock said. Rods, tackle and bait are provided for each session. Children must be accompanied by an adult, but no fishing license is required to participate.
"With video games and TV, there's no sitting still," McClintock said. "With fishing, you're waiting for things to happen."
The classes are part of the "Close to Home" fishing program, which provides state fishers the opportunity to practice their sport in a local lake or pond, instead of leaving the city in search of stocked waters, she said.
To register, call 316-3474.