Fishing for Conservation: Texas Aquatic Science: Chapter 13

Fishing is fun, and it makes for a great time
to spend with friends and family in the outdoors. Texas has many aquatic ecosystems to explore
that are perfect places to catch fish. Chances are you live near a river or lake, bay or
estuary, or could even make a quick trip to the coast. But if you’ve never been fishing before, don’t
worry. It’s easy to get started. All you need is a cane pole or rod and reel, a hook, some
bait and a fishing license if you are 17 or older. And a little understanding about fish
and the habitats they live in. To catch a fish, it helps to think like a
fish. A catfish stays near the bottom and may hide inside or under objects, they will
eat almost anything. A largemouth bass however prefers to hang out in mid-water and closer
to the surface, but sometimes may hide in cover so it can ambush its prey. They like
to eat smaller fish, frogs or big bugs. Thinking like a fish can also help you zero in on where
the fish are and what bait they might like. If you were a minnow trying to escape the
jaws of a bass, where would you hide? Under plants or rocks? Or in the shadows of a dock
or shade tree? Fish in the Gulf love the cover of artificial reefs created by oil production
platforms. Knowing the prime hide-outs for fish tells you the best places to catch them. Fish are fun to catch. And great to eat too.
There are even entire festivals created to celebrate tasty aquatic treats. Fishing is
big business for our state. The quality and diversity of fish in Texas attract over two
million anglers each year who contribute almost $2 billion dollars to our state’s economy.
In fact when you purchase a fishing license or fishing equipment, you’re helping to support
fishery management, hatcheries, conservation, and outdoor education in Texas. Are you ready for fun and a challenge? Grab
some friends and family, and head out fishing. And know that you are joining anglers everywhere
who are helping conserve aquatic resources in Texas.

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