State Fishing Tackle Loaner Programs

fishing tackle loaner programsI was away from home for two weeks and staying at a hotel within line of site and walking distance to a beautiful local recreational body of water. I learned it was an 820 acre storage reservoir stocked with yellow perch, smallmouth bass, rainbow trout, and walleye. I hadn’t brought along my fishing gear with every evening and one entire weekend free during my stay to enjoy the fishing. It was killing me knowing that it was going to turn into another missed opportunity to enjoy one of my favorite outdoor activities. That got me thinking…if only there was a fishing tackle loaner program for individuals in this situation….if only….

So…a short Google search later for “fishing tackle loaner programs” brought some exciting new information to my attention! Many states have such a program, some through their Wildlife and Natural Resource departments and others through local libraries and private organizations. No, these aren’t costly rentals, but are truly loaners where you sign the gear out for a period of time just like you would to borrow for a book or video from your local library.

I decided to dig a little deeper into the fishing tackle loaner programs just to see if I could learn more about which states allow individuals to use the tackle free of charge and to see what is included in the loaner packages. Looking solely at participating states, my initial Google search populated my browser page with links to North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Wisconsin and Arkansas. Page two of my search provided links to Nebraska, Virginia, Missouri, and Montana. Page three showed links to Alaska and Minnesota and page four listed Arizona. I was surprised that, on my initial search, so many states have such a program.

Checking The Fishing Regulations

MHAF TackleBoxHungry for more information, I went to the Military Hunting and Fishing state regulation websites to see what I could find. With ease, I was able to search each state’s site for information related to fishing tackle loaner programs. In addition to the states listed above, I was able to compile the following list of states with links to their respective programs and events providing fishing tackle on loan: California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Idaho; Indiana; Iowa; Maryland; Minnesota; Nevada; New Jersey; New York; Ohio; Oregon; Rhode Island; South Dakota; and Washington. Now, don’t be discouraged if the state you are hoping to see isn’t listed here. Remember that in my initial Google search, many local and civic organizations and even libraries offer similar programs.

Fishing Tackle Loaner Programs

The loaner programs vary somewhat among the different state and local organizations. Commonly, anglers of all ages register at participating parks which allows them to check out a rod and reel and often a tackle box stocked with bobbers, hooks and other basic fishing gear. One requirement in most locations is anglers under 18 years of age must have a parent or guardian complete the registration form. Some programs offer incentives for first-time anglers after returning the loaner rods and reels to the office. These first-time participants under 16 years of age will receive a free mini-tackle box containing hooks, bobbers, sinkers, and a stringer. Rods and reels must be returned to the original loaner site. And, of course, if a fishing license is required, it must be shown prior to checking out the fishing tackle.

Fish on Fishing tackleThe fishing tackle loaner programs have been initiated to introduce individuals, especially children, to fishing and to encourage novice anglers to continue developing their angling skills. But, for the avid angler away from home on business or on vacation, these programs provide a way to take advantage of otherwise missed opportunities. Oh, and don’t forget, for the eligible military patrons, many military installations have MWR (Morale, Well-Being and Recreation) programs that also offer low-cost or free of charge fishing tackle.

Fellow anglers, if you find yourself in a similar situation to mine, you don’t have to sit on the shoreline wondering if the fish are biting. Use those fishing tackle loaner programs to get out and enjoy the sport!

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Gregory Beckman

About the Author:

Hi, I am Gregory Beckman, as the main owner of Military Hunting and Fishing let me tell you a little bit more about myself. I am currently an active duty member in the United States Coast Guard. I have been privileged to traveling the world. My experiences have shaped the way that I see the world and my memories will stick with me for a lifetime. Although I may not live in the country, the country lives in me. Traveling the world I have had the chance to experience the wonders of nature in many different places, meeting many different people and tasting wild game that the normal person would not get to experience. Although these experiences have kept me away from home, it has instilled a deep passion of hunting and fishing in my blood. Thank you for joining our site, and I look forward to interacting and sharing stories of our hunting adventures. Gregory A. Beckman
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