Plenty of Fish in the Thames?

London landlubbers tackle first time fishing 

On July 12, 30 eager anglers gathered with the Freshwater Alliance and Learn to Fish, a mobile program that introduces fishing to people of all ages across Ontario, at Greenway Park. There, participants were taught the basics of fishing: from hooking their bait and casting to reeling the fish in. Special guest Dr. Tim Hain, a fish biologist from Western University, also provided participants with valuable information about the ecology of the Thames River and general information about ideal fishing locations. The air was buzzing with excitement as participants observed the Learn to Fish crew lay out the life jackets and gear.

Fishing Bass-ics

The day started off with an engaging presentation from Austin Nicholson at Learn to Fish, who gave participants the low-down on fishing licenses and the basis of fishing. His enthusiasm during the demonstration was infectious, and all eyes were transfixed on his presentation. We also learned that different types of bait attract different fish: corn, spoons, and worms attract wildly different species - it’s not just the luck of the draw! Austin gave an overview about the types of fish (with a stuffed toy fish, no less!) living in the Thames River. After this interactive presentation, the children and adults tried their hand at basic casting with fake hooks. Thankfully, no one got baited in the process.  

In preparation for testing their newfound skills out on the water, participants were provided with life jackets (for safety), fishing rods, and bait to get started. Wiggly worms were the bait of the day—with that, these novice anglers were ready to attract some fish!

All of us made our way down the steep slope to the main river bank to scope out the most optimal fishing spots.

The Grand Fin-ale

Though many a line was tangled or forfeited to nearby trees and worms mysteriously disappeared (some of these fish were sneaky!), not all hope was lost—one skillful participant provided the catch of the day.

Marianne Lee caught a small-mouth bass that was quickly released after having its photo snapped.

Tackling First Time Fishing was yet another successful Explore the Thames event where happy people walked away with new fishing skills, a take-home bag full of angling information, and a new-found patience for the sport as well as appreciation of all that our Thames River has to offer.

For those of you that weren’t able to attend, the summer’s not over yet! Check our Open Water Swim event, happening at Lake Erie on August 3!

For more information on Learn to Fish, visit their page


All photos were taken on July 12, 2019 by Jade Prévost-Manuel. More photos can be found here.

Explore the Thames is made possible thanks to the support of: