CatchFishAnywhere is the Angler’s Resource for Summer 2015

The notion hit me on the banks of a lake with four kids surrounding me. Screaming nieces and nephews had converged on the shores of Chickasaw State Park in Tennessee. Each child had an old spincasting combo over his or her shoulder.

All between ages six and 12, the kids were off on their first fishing adventure. I was the unwitting guide. A bucket of crickets lay on the ground.

And then, the crickets did what crickets do—they escaped. 

I can’t tell you why crickets escape. Maybe they pine for a new life of freedom and adventure beyond the walls of a chicken wire tube. Maybe they can’t swim. Maybe some crickets don’t want to be bream bait. Maybe, as a bass fisherman, I am just really terrible at closing those cricket tubes. But for whatever reason, they always get out. And at that moment—in the midst of a family cookout, surrounded by anxious children clamoring to catch their first fish, with bait fleeing in every direction on the ground— I realized part of the genius behind barbless lures.

Barbless lures are great for kids. Honestly, they are great for adults, too. Not only does an errant hook dislodge itself far more easily (and less painfully) when said kids invariably stick you with one, but some of today’s barbless lures come right from the factory with lethal catching ability.

As a bonus, a quality, artificial barbless-hooked lure is incapable of escaping under its own power.

That brings me to the point of this story: CatchFishAnywhere is a new website created by Rebel Lures to help anglers find waters that they need a barbless lure to fish.

The website is good at that. It features a growing list of National Parks and special regulation areas, including a breakdown of current regulations and exactly where to fish in those places.

That’s incredibly useful to adult anglers on a family vacation or psychedelic spiritual journey into the wilderness. But the most exciting part of this website to me (aside from a mobile-friendly design—nerd alert), is the potential it has to unlock new adventures for kids.

Kids need adventure. They need the outdoors. They need to see and experience waterways and sunsets and bug bites and nature. Fishing is the perfect outlet for that, and with families headed to national and state parks in droves this summer, CatchFishAnywhere provides an excellent, on-the-go resource for some affordable family adventure.

Tips for Catching Fish on Barbless Lures

Barbless hooks are nothing new, but finding quality lures that carry them right out of the package has long been a scavenger hunt. Rebel has solved that issue with the introduction of last year’s highly popular MicroCritter series. This year, they are following up the MicroCritters with full-size lures—one of which, the Bluegill, was used to school me recently in Utah. There, on the banks of the San Juan River, veteran outdoor writer Jeff Samsel hauled in an untold number of smallmouth bass—with very few misses—right in front of me.

Knowing that Samsel was throwing a new barbless Rebel Bluegill, I asked him what the secret to landing fish without a barb is. After all, barbs are there for a reason, right?

Samsel says (and Rebel backs this up), to basically do what grandpa taught you—keep your line tight, keep your rod tip up, bring it to the boat. That’s it. As it turns out, fishing with a barbless lure reinforces the fundamentals of fishing.

What better lesson for kids? Which takes us back to CatchFishAnywhere. The website truly is an outstanding resource for young anglers and their parents.

With a mobile-friendly design, it looks great on a tablet. It’s not hard to imagine sitting around the living room browsing through fishing locations on your next family vacation. After all, there are few places more captivating than America’s parks. And that’s reason in itself to pack a few barbless lures worth casting.