With National Fishing and Boating Week kicking off June 6, Melissa Cummings encourages Bartow residents to introduce someone to the enjoyment of angling. Initially launched about four decades ago, NFBW will take place through June 14.
“According to the National Fishing and Boating Week website, one of the main reasons people don’t go fishing or boating is because no one has invited them,” said Cummings, communications and outreach specialist for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division. “You can help change this. Make it a mission during National Fishing and Boating Week, or the next time you go fishing, to take someone new: a child, a relative or a friend.
“Additionally, fishing offers the following benefits: Connection — fishing and boating offer a great way to connect with family and friends; Stress relief — fishing is a great way to relax; and Conservation — the funds from your fishing license help conserve Georgia lakes, rivers and streams.”
In past years, Cartersville Parks and Recreation Department’s NFBW free fishing events attracted more than 100 people, with anglers sometimes wrapped around Dellinger Park Lake. The Cartersville venue’s first two fishing offerings of 2020 were originally scheduled the week prior to NFBW.
Cartersville Parks and Recreation Department Director Tom Gilliam shared Dellinger Park’s Youth Fishing Day tentatively will be rescheduled for Aug. 3 and Senior Fishing Day will now take place Aug. 7, noting “the current rule of gathering is still at no more than 10 people” at the city’s parks.
“National Fishing and Boating Week began in 1979 and was created to recognize the tradition of fishing, to broaden the spirit of togetherness and to share the values and knowledge of today’s anglers with tomorrow’s anglers,” Cummings said. “People across Georgia can celebrate NFBW by participating in the Free Fishing Days, offered on June 6 and June 13.
“On these days, Georgia residents can fish for free. So, if you know of someone who has wanted to try fishing, but has not yet gotten their license — these two days offer a great opportunity to get them out on the water.”
National Fishing and Boating Week was initiated by Take Me Fishing, a campaign of the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation.
With this year’s week occurring in the midst of COVID-19, RBFF’s position statement encourages participants to “always consider your health and well-being as well as that of others before visiting a fishing or boating spot.” Urging participants to follow guidelines issued by their local municipality, state and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, RBFF advises people to “keep a 6-foot social distance between yourself and others; do not touch public surfaces, such as benches, railings or water fountains; wash your hands thoroughly before and after fishing and after touching any public surfaces; stay home if you are sick or have any symptoms of COVID-19.”
For more information about NBFW and to pinpoint kids fishing events across the state, visit https://georgiawildlife.com/nfbw.