The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation's Take Me Fishing campaign is encouraging families to enjoy National Fishing and Boating Week, which runs June 1-9.
According to a 2013 nationwide survey conducted on behalf of Take Me Fishing, 81 percent of Americans plan to stay at home for all or some of this summer's vacation. During National Fishing and Boating Week, the campaign is urging families to transform summer stay-cations into bay-cations, turning time off work into time on their nearest lake, river, stream or coastline.
"Nearly everyone is within an hour of a place to fish and boat, making affordable family activities that are perfect for spending time together, connecting with the outdoors and just relaxing very accessible," RBFF president and CEO Frank Peterson said in a statement. "Whether it's for an afternoon or longer, you'll create memories that last a lifetime."
Here are some ways to take advantage of National Fishing and Boating Week:
• Free Fishing Days: Perfect for those who are new to the sport or who want to mentor others, most states offer free fishing days during National Fishing and Boating Week that allow the public to fish without having to purchase a fishing license.
• Special events: Sites all over the country will host events such as fishing derbies, regattas, boating demonstrations and festivals.
• Kids' activities: TakeMeFishing.org's Little Lunkers section offers games and information to learn before getting out on the water, and even certificates to commemorate a child’s catch.
• Plan a Father's Day outing: The survey said a family outing was named the best type of Father's Day gift, beating traditional sports tickets and power tools. Surprise him with fishing gear, his own license and a day on the water with the family. TakeMeFishing.org has all of the necessary resources, including a printable coupon that kids can print out and put into a card for their father.
• Conservation through participation: Buying a fishing license and registering a boat helps fund efforts to conserve natural waterways through projects such as fisheries research, habitat improvement, fish stocking, aquatic education and fishing and boating access facilities, such as docks and boat ramps.
TakeMeFishing.org also has information on fishing reports, boat ramps and hot spots, how-to information and a community for those who are into everything from fly fishing to boat maintenance.