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Freshwater fishing programs for beginners

Want to try freshwater fishing? MassWildlife can help you get started with learn-to-fish events for beginners.
learn to fish

Sign up for an online introductory fishing class!

Looking for a way to enjoy the outdoors this summer? Join MassWildlife for a free online introductory fishing class! This beginner’s class will teach you all the basics including what gear you’ll need and how to use it, rigging up your rod, where to find fishing spots, fish ID and anatomy, as well as the basic rules and regulations. Registration is required, space is limited to 50 people per class. Click here to view a list of upcoming classes and register. 

About the Angler Education Program

NOTE: Due to COVID-19, the Angler Education Program cannot hold in-person classes as usual. See the posting above for online options. The following information describes the program under normal circumstances.

MassWildlife hosts events throughout the year. You can check out a full listing on the Angler Education Calendar. The best way to learn the ropes is to attend a clinic or festival, where instructors can help you reel in your first catch.

At festivals and clinics, you’ll get an introduction to freshwater fishing, including:

  • Setting up a fishing rod
  • Casting a line
  • Tying different knots
  • Identifying fish

Family fishing festivals

Typically held on weekends, these events are designed for families but are open to everyone. You don’t need a fishing license, and you can usually borrow equipment.

  • Best for — Families and individuals
  • Length — 4-6 hours (drop in, stay for as long as you like)
  • How to joinCheck the calendar for specific event info

Fishing clinics

Clinics can be great for summer camps, Scout troops, and other groups. They’re one of the best ways for novice anglers to get personal instruction. You can schedule a clinic at a time that works for your group.

Adult fishing programs

These are geared for adult beginners, and can be a class or clinic.

  • Best for — Individuals or small groups
  • Length — 2-4 hours
  • How to joinCheck the calendar for specific event info

More info

MassWildlife also has a Fishing Gear Loaner Program for groups who want to drop a line but don’t have equipment. You can borrow rods, reels, and tackle, and get instructional handouts.

Want to share your fishing experience with others? Consider becoming a volunteer instructor and pass on your passion! Email the program coordinator for more information about the loaner program or to volunteer. 

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