Fishing is a super relaxing and surprisingly addictive hobby. Honestly, it’s not something we EVER expected to like; we didn’t grow up fishing, so it was a bit of a foreign concept for us! However, we wanted something to do with the kids that was relaxing–that would calm them down–while still providing time in the sun. Fishing is also a great bonding experience. So we figured we’d give it a try–we’re truly glad we did.
How to get started
We learned the basics through a free program at Borderland State Park. They are offering it in 2021 (yay!); you can find more information about this and other Borderland events here). This fishing program runs every Monday evening for a few hours. They open up the parking area on Mountain St. in Sharon near Puds Pond, and Borderland rangers provide everything you need (rods and bait). They even put the bait on and take the hooks out of the fish for you! It makes things easy and fun, so definitely check this program out!
The best way to learn to fish, though, at least in our opinion, is to find someone who knows what they are doing and ask if you can go with them once or twice so you can learn the ropes. If you don’t know anyone who fishes, ask on your local moms/dads/parents/community Facebook page. We are sure someone will be willing to show you what you need to know to get started.
Finally, the local Bass Pro Shop in Foxboro at Patriot Place is a valuable resource. Go talk to their staff and ask them what they recommend to get started. They will make sure you have everything you need. The good news is that fishing doesn’t require a big initial investment. Basic equipment is very reasonably priced.
Things you need to get started
- A rod and reel, including the stuff to rig it up: a bob, weight, and hooks. For beginners, the push-button reel or spin caster, is the easiest. Rods don’t come rigged up with the lines ready to go, so you’ll need to find someone to help you attach the bob, weight, and hook. We’re guessing someone at Bass Pro would help you with it if you purchase your rods there. If not, find a friend that can help or watch a few YouTube videos.
- Live bait. This is easily found at our local Walmart in the fishing section! They sell live night crawlers which will work for fishing small things like sunfish. They are cheap and easy to store in your own refrigerator. They should keep for at least a few weeks.
- A set of wire cutters/a multi-use tool. We use this to cut the worms into pieces so we can put them on the hooks. They are also an ESSENTIAL, don’t leave home without them tool for safety reasons: if someone accidentally gets a fishing hook through the skin, you don’t want to pull the barbed part back out through the skin–OUCH. Instead, push the hook/barb forward through the skin again if you can, cut off the barb, and then pull the hook out. The multi-use tools are also handy for getting the hook out of the fish after you catch it.
- Comfy camp chairs. We don’t do much sitting when we fish, but it’s always good to have a comfortable chair just in case one of the kids (or you!) needs a break. 😉
- A valid fishing license. Purchase one for all adults in your party here. Kids 14 and under don’t need a license. The authorities are very strict about enforcing this in Massachusetts, so don’t skip this step.
Places to fish
We don’t travel around looking for places to fish, to be honest! It’s more of a thing we choose to do after work/school in the evening so we stay close to home. Here in Easton, there are a few places that we recommend. This is obviously not an exhaustive list!
- Our favorite is New Pond or Old Pond. The fishing video above was filmed here. It’s great because it’s near a Target (in case anyone needs a bathroom!) and on a main road–super easy to find and get to. There is also a long stretch of land along the dam so you can spread out. It gets busy, but there is a lot of room at New Pond. Old Pond is right next door and is much smaller, but it could be another option to explore. There is also a very short but nice hiking trail at Old Pond. We wrote a post about it.
2. Shovelshop Pond at the Governor Oliver Ames Estate in Easton. This is a beautiful Trustee’s property. Fishing here is fun and easy, but it can also be tricky because of all the lily pads and trees.
3. Ames Long Pond on Highland St on the Easton/Stoughton border. The views here, particularly from West St. in Stoughton are amazing. Bonus: on your way home, follow West St towards Stoughton, take a right onto Lake Drive, and then a left onto Ames Drive. Where Ames Drive intersects with Hayward Drive, there is a huge boulder/hill in front of you. That huge boulder/hill is actually the rim of an ancient volcano!!! (The Easton town historian told us this fun fact!)
What are your favorite places to fish around the South Shore or Southeastern Mass? Please share in the comments!