Fishing can be a hobby and a source of study for your entire lifetime. The 4-H sportfishing project will introduce you to fish, fishing, and aquatic habitats.
Level 1 (grades 3-5)
Level 2 (grades 6-8)
Level 3 (grades 9-12)
Fishing 1: Take the Bait (grades 3-5)
Fishing 2: Reel in the Fun (grades 6-8)
Fishing 3: Cast into the Future (grades 9-12)
* Manuals can be purchased online at the Education Store under 4-H Fishing or Lake County Extension office
SCORECARDS can be found on the state website through the link above
RECORD SHEETS can be found on the state website through the link above
General Exhibit Requirements
Manual Required (3 Activities)
- Members may exhibit a Poster, Other Exhibit, and/or Action Demonstration (during judging). Poster exhibits are eligible for State Fair.
- Use the title of the activity as the title of your poster. You can use a creative sub-title if you wish.
- See “General Rules” for poster requirements. Posters must include a reference list indicating where information was obtained, giving credit to the original author, to complete the 4-H member’s exhibit. This reference list should/might include web site links, people and professionals interviewed, books, magazines, etc. It is recommended this reference list be attached to the back of a poster or display board, be the last page of a notebook, or included as part of the display visible to the public. A judge is not to discredit an exhibit for the manner in which references are listed.
Level 1 (grade 3-5), create a poster based on one of these activities:
- Let’s Go Fishing!: Complete the Angling Self Assessment and practice landing a fish as described in Playing a Fish. Display your self assessment to show what you currently know about fishing and indicate what you hope to learn in this project. Draw or take photos of you “Playing a Fish.”
- Pop Can Casting: Display a photo of you casting your pop can rig and your casting record. Optional—display a photo of you casting a regular fishing rig and your casting record with that rig.
- Hook, Line and Sinker: Display at least two of the rigs listed in Fishing Deeper, #1. You can use a drawing or a picture to show these rigs. Answer the questions (Casting Out, Working the Lure, Setting the Hook, and Landing the Fish) on your exhibit.
- Fishy Baits: Complete and display cards similar to those shown (natural baits, prepared bait, and artificial flies and lures). Answer the Casting Out questions on your exhibit.
- Which Fish is it?: Copy the pages in your manual and use the fish and crossword puzzle. Identify the fish and make a display that shows the correct answers in the puzzle (Optional-enlarge the crossword puzzle).
Level 2 (grade 6-8), create a poster based on one of these activities:
- A Different Spin: Display a picture of you while casting and a completed Casting Record and Spinning Reel Parts diagram. Also, answer the Working the Lure and Setting the Hook questions. (You may copy the ones in your manual or make your own.)
- A Fine Kettle of Fish: Show a drawing or photograph of you cooking fish. Include your recipe and, if possible, pictures of you cleaning and/or cooking your fish.
- Clean up the Litterbug: Complete and display the chart shown on page 16. Draw or take a photo of the fishing place that you cleaned up (before and after).
- The Woolly Bugger: Take pictures or make drawings to show how a woolly bugger is made. Answer the Casting Out and Working the Lure questions
- Fish by Design: Draw, take pictures, or find pictures on the internet or in magazines to show (and identify) different mouth/feeding fish, body shapes, and fish with different coloration. Briefly explain (3-5 sentences or bullet points) why fish have different mouths, body shapes, and coloration.
Level 3 (grade 9-12), create a poster based on one of these activities:
- A Reel Mess: Draw, take photos, or copy the reels shown in Cleaning a Reel. Label the reels, the parts of each reel, and where you might use it. Show how you cleaned a reel using pictures or drawings.
- Designing a Skillathon Station: Make two Skillathon stations (you may use the suggestions on page 9 or another fishing topic of your choice). List the topic, realistic situation, task and materials needed. Take photographs of young 4-H members using your stations.
- Beads, Dog Hair, and Feathers: Collect materials and tie a fly. You can display your fly or a picture of the fly. Also, list and draw or take pictures of the 7 materials in the matching game and indicate their potential use.
- Collecting Aquatic Insects: Complete and display the chart on page 18 (you may copy the chart in your book or make your own). Draw or take pictures of your kick net and your sampling procedures. Answer the questions in Casting Out and Working the Lure. Cast into the Future: Complete the Career Investigation Record after talking with someone currently working in an area related to fish or fishing. Include a picture of the person you interviewed and answer the questions in Casting Out. Working the Lure, Setting the Hook, and Landing the Fish.
- Keep a Field Journal: Reproduce a copy 3-5 Field Journal entries on your display. Include photographs that show where you had the fishing experience, if possible.
- Playing Know Your Fish: Make a ‘flap’ quiz to teach fish facts. Show a picture or ask a question about a fish. Give the answer(s) under the flap. Choose 5-10 fish using at least 5 fish from you manual. Be sure to list multiple species if the information you provide applies to more than one of the species you choose.
Level Independent Study (grade 9-12), create a poster based on one of these activities:
- Advanced Topic: Learn all you can about a sport fishing topic of your choice and present it on a poster. Include a short manuscript, pictures, graphs, and list the references you used to describe what you did and what you learned. Title your poster “Advanced Sport Fishing– Independent Study.”
- Mentoring: Exhibit a poster that shows how you mentored a younger 4-H member. Include your planning, the time you spent, the challenges and advantages of mentoring, and how the experience might be useful in your life. Photographs and other documentation are encouraged. Title your poster, “Advanced Sport Fishing-Mentor.” Other Exhibit Option (not eligible for State Fair) Make and exhibit an item that supports what you have learned in the Sportfishing project, such as lures (minimum five lures), fishing pole, fishing pole rack, fishing pole caddy, portable minnow bucket, portable live well, respooler, etc., or you might raise worms, minnows, or other live bait. Items are expected to increase in difficulty each year. These exhibits will be displayed at the county level only. Include a written summary of why you chose to do this, how it will be used, the cost, etc.
Other Exhibit Option (not eligible for State Fair)
Make and exhibit an item that supports what you have learned in the Sportfishing project, such as lures (minimum five lures), fishing pole, fishing pole rack, fishing pole caddy, portable minnow bucket, portable live well, respooler, etc., or you might raise worms, minnows, or other live bait. Items are expected to increase in difficulty each year. These exhibits will be displayed at the county level only. Include a written summary of why you chose to do this, how it will be used, the cost, etc.
Interested in sponsoring a trophy or award for this project? Please contact the project superintendent or Extension Office at 219-755-3240 to learn more!