FREE Kids’ Fishing Clinic at Fort Clinch Offered Once Each Spring

The FREE Kids' Fishing Clinic will take place on Fort Clinch's Atlantic Pier.

The FREE Kids' Fishing Clinic will take place on Fort Clinch's Atlantic Pier.

Kids ages four to 16 are invited to Fort Clinch’s annual FREE Kids’ Fishing Clinic once each spring. In 2012, the event fell on March 24.

The first 500 children got a FREE rod and reel, and everyone received free tackle boxes, fishing books and a free hot dog lunch!

My 4-year-old loved the event, which included lessons on knot tying, fishing ethics, tackle, habitats, casting and more. After learning fishing techniques from expert fishermen and -women, the kids get to try out their new fishing poles in the saltwater at the Atlantic Fishing Pier. Bait is provided, and the understanding is that any fish caught will just be photographed and returned to the water.

The clinic is put on by the Friends of Fort Clinch, Inc., Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and Fish Florida. It’s a special treat for Fernandina Beach children and children visiting Amelia Island.

What I learned from attending the event: you should arrive early and plan on waiting in line a while before your child can start going through the lessons. When we went, we arrived about 20 minutes before the event was scheduled to start, and there was already a line of at least a couple hundred people. The ones who knew better came armed with snacks and activities for their kids to stay busy while they waited. It took about an hour before we actually started the lessons.

If you want to go:

Where: The Atlantic Fishing Pier, Fort Clinch State Park, 2601 Atlantic Avenue, Fernandina Beach, FL

Who: Kids ages 4 to 16

Cost: FREE for participants and their families. Includes FREE rod and reel to the first 500 kids and FREE hot dog lunch for everyone

For more information: Call 904-277-7274

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