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Learn to Fish Program

Indiana DNR's sport fishing education program is focused on getting people fishing in Indiana – for the first time and the next time. We offer instruction for those interested in learning more about fishing in general, fishing for different species, and teaching new anglers. We promote, support, and conduct fishing events geared toward youth, families, adults, women, and individuals with disabilities. While most of the events are tailored to novices, some workshops teach advanced skills. Our goal is to encourage a healthy lifestyle through spending time outdoors, promoting physical activity, making memories together, and increasing the consumption of locally-harvested fish.

Most events are held on DNR properties, city parks, and county parks. Many events take place at public waters including lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams – areas that participants can easily return to and enjoy again.

Programs & Events

  • Learn to Fish Workshops

    Learn to Fish workshops are two to four-hour hands-on workshops where participants gain knowledge, skills, and the confidence needed to go fishing. Most workshops include a classroom portion and time to put new skills to the test. Some workshops, like Learn to Fillet Fish, may take place in a setting without water. All workshops require pre-registration. Many of our workshops are free and provide the bait and equipment needed. Fishing licenses are required for workshops not on Free Fishing Days.

  • Public Fishing Events

    Check out our list of upcoming public fishing events. Some of the events are structured workshops while others are youth fishing derbies and fishing days. Most of these events are free. Click on the event for more details. Want to run an event but need some tips, tackle, or promotion? Consider becoming a Go FishIN Crew Captain (link to below). • List of events

  • Become an Instructor - Go FishIN Crew Captains

    Go FishIN Crew Captain workshops are an opportunity for adults (e.g. formal/non-formal educators and youth leaders) to learn about fish biology, Indiana's aquatic ecosystems, fish management in Indiana, basic angling skills, and angler ethics. Participants will become Crew Captains and can take their newfound knowledge and skills to their classrooms and community. Crew Captains also can receive educational sport fishing materials and fishing equipment from the DNR to implement fishing programs. The six-hour Crew Captain workshop is free, but pre-registration is required. No fishing experience is needed. All fishing equipment will be provided. Many people choose to become Crew Captains because they are connected to a specific group of youth or families. Others get trained because they want to learn more about our program, tips to get youth fishing, and how to get connected to the DNR's sport fishing education efforts. Crew Captains get notified of local fishing events and field days that need volunteers throughout the year. One of these opportunities, the biggest fishing event of the year, is the State Fair Fishin’ Pond. • List of upcoming workshops

  • State Fair Fishin’ Pond

    At the State Fair Fishin’ Pond, children ages 5-17 are given the opportunity to try fishing for free. This event is run by DNR staff and volunteers. To learn more and sign up, visit the State Fair Fishin’ Pond website.

  • Go FishIN in the City

    Go FishIN in the City is Indiana DNR’s urban fishing program. It aims to increase fishing opportunities in urban areas. We identified several family-friendly parks across the state that have public fishing areas with excellent shore fishing. Many of the sites are city parks that have no gate fee, convenient parking near the water, and restrooms. These locations are stocked with catchable-size channel catfish and rainbow trout. Some of the parks hold fishing events throughout the year.

Fishing Information