Participants receive panfish fishing instruction

215.jpgPanfish are generally considered to be “easy” fish to catch, which make them an ideal group of fish to teach people the basics of fishing. However, consistently catching panfish throughout the year, particularly larger specimens, may require advanced angling techniques that may take a lifetime to learn.

Identifying what you will cover – and what you will NOT cover – are critical parts of program planning. For additional information defining specific program goals, objectives and more, see program planning section. Setting specific goals and objectives is a critical parts of program planning that many managers do not take enough time to do well.

Not setting specific goals and objectives is a BIG MISTAKE! Without specific goals and objectives, it is impossible to determine if your program is successful – or not!

Agencies and NGOs are usually very good at implementing programs; where they often fall short is during the planning stage. It is highly recommended that you STOP at this point and go back and review your goals and objectives. Doing so will remind you what you want your program to accomplish. This information will determine what you will cover during the limited timeframe of your course.

Remember that it will likely take several iterations for a non-angler to become a regular participant and an independent, active angler.

Recent research indicates that as many as 49% of licensed anglers in a given year may drop out and not renew their license the next year. See American Sportfishing Association’s U.S. Angler Population: Who Comes and Who Goes for additional details on angler “churn rates.”

Developing strategies to “retain” anglers from one year to the next will be important in achieving your long–term goals. As a result, incorporating information on “next steps” should be an important part of the material your course covers.

The following sections contain a variety of “how-to” information, but also explain why some material is particularly important to adult, novice anglers. There is probably more content here than you will have time to cover in your class. What topics you include and how you include them will depend on available time and your program’s specific goals and objectives.

Your participants are adults; they learn and want to be taught differently than adolescents. They are also likely to be urban, potentially female, and “true beginners” who have not been brought up in a hunting, fishing or firearms-familiar culture.

Being “true beginners,” their learning curve will be steeper than students you may have taught in the past. Also, remember that most of your participants do-not-know-what-they-don’t-know. It may require additional coaxing and patience on your part to make sure they understand the information presented, and the relevance of that information.

The net result is that you likely will need more time to cover the material you have planned, put less information in each session, add a session, and/or assign a little homework. Each section of this website has more content included than you will likely use in class, so participants should study some of the material on their own.  If you do assign homework, plan or reviewing and answering questions during the next face-to-face session.

Previous sections of that might be helpful in planning your lessons include:

Setting program goals and objectives;

Assessing participant needs; 

Key concepts of adult learning

Outdoor Recreation Adoption Model; and

Understanding potential motivations related to food.

The material is arranged in logical order and broken up into potential class sessions or sub-sessions. Most of the “how-to” information is contained in the resources at the end of each section. For the purposes of program planning, note that some safety issues and outdoor hazards are included in this section. You will probably want to customize the specific outdoor hazards for your particular part of the country.

Many of the included resources are from state wildlife agencies, conservation-related non-government organizations, foundations and other “open sources.” However, some are covered by copyrights that limit their use to educational purposes only. Please note and respect the limits of these copyrights.