Many people head to the lakes and bays, but rivers are often an overlooked resource for fishing.
River fishing has a special place in my heart. My papa was the first to take me fishing at the river. I would only see my grandparents four times a year and one of those would be my week-long summer visit.
The highlight of the week was when Papa would take one morning off from farming to take me fishing. Papa has been gone for many years now and those fond memories of fishing together still remain with me.
As a grandparent today, I know how hard it is to connect with the grandchildren when one has to compete with all the silly, electronic gadgets children seem to need in order to be able to breathe. Taking children fishing is a great way to help close the generation gap and make lasting memories.
There is something majestic about sitting on the riverbank, listening to the sound of the water flowing with the chorus of birds and frogs singing to you. The excitement of catching even the smallest of fish can be challenging when the fish goes with the current, even if the fish turns out to be one of those darned tree bass.
Fishing is best if the electronics are left in the car. I have had the privilege of taking numerous children from various backgrounds fishing and everyone has enjoyed it to some extent. Make sure you do not make the child stay longer than the enjoyment lasts for them, because the goal is to make a positive memory.
If the child gets antsy, there are several activities one can do to stretch the time. Try stick or leaf races. Each person tosses stick or leaf into the river and the winner is the one whose stick or leaf disappears down the river the fastest. Skipping rocks is always a favorite of mine. Another favorite is to play “name that sound.”
One of the great things about Texas state parks is that people don’t need fishing licenses as long as they fish inside park boundaries and a lot of our parks are on lakes or rivers. Goliad State Park has several spots one can fish on the San Antonio River with the paddling trail takeout point providing the easiest access to the water.
So come wet a line and enjoy the peacefulness of river fishing.