The bobber lands and send ripples cascading out from it. The youngster is on shore watching and waiting… and within seconds the bobber stands upright, twists, and dives out of sight. The slack in the line spins into the reel. Using a robust swing of the fishing rod to set the hook, the battle begins. The bluegill on the end of the line turns sideways and fights hard. The child reaches over and scoops up the bluegill. After showing her dad, she dips her hand back in the water to let this one grow up a bit more. She smiles, dad smiles, and after threading the worm back onto the hook, she casts back out to start the process again.
This scene plays out frequently over the Linn County area. There are many approachable fishing spots for parents to take their kids in the area. Just a few include: Pinicon Ridge Park by Central City near the Watercraft Concession; below the dam in Central City; the Prairie Park Fishery or Cedar Lake in Cedar Rapids; Pleasant Creek State Recreation Area near Palo. These are a few quick and easy suggestions for nearby spots to catch some panfish and relax on shore.
Most folks find the process rewarding to spend some unplugged time out on the shorelines with family. We are blessed in Iowa to have rapid growth in our fish, and this means ample opportunities to go catch a few. A simple set up like a spin-casting rod and reel, a small bobber, a size 6 or 8 hook and a half a nightcrawler can catch many of the most desirable fish around the area.