Fishing for Family Fun in Lexington and Rockbridge County
By Casey L. Higgins, Freelance Writer
Do you know what happens when you take a kid fishing? A pessimist might say, "You won't get a chance to fish." An optimist might say, "You instill a love of the outdoors in your child."
Sacrifice a day of wetting your own line to teach a child to fish instead. Teachable moments, life lessons, and skill development will pop up along the way, and certainly, the memories will last forever.
Let's Go Fishing
Natural Bridge State Park
You've heard of "farm-to-table," right? Try "hook-to-fork" at Natural Bridge State Park! Take the kids for their very own Kids Fishing Day on April 7. Cedar Creek will be stocked with 800 brook trout, so the fishing will be fun and pulling one in will be a near-sure bet! Bring some pocket change for yourself, because your children age 12 and younger will also be treated to a free lunch! Local law enforcement will be on-site for volunteer opportunities, and the Virginia Cooperative Extension will teach kids how to clean the fish they catch. Cooking demonstrations will teach everyone how best to enjoy their catch at home.
Cave Mountain Lake
If you're up for the full experience, try an overnight family camping at trip Cave Mountain Lake. Need something more tame? Just pack a picnic lunch and go fishing for the day!
Managed by the US Forest Service, Cave Mountain Lake is offering a youth-only fishing opportunity from April 1 to June 15, 2018. Children age 15 and under will be the only fishermen permitted at the Lake during that time, although adults are encouraged to assist children with baiting, casting, and removing fish from the hook. Adults may not, however, assist with setting the hook nor retrieving the fish. A fishing license nor a trout license is required for adults teaching children to fish.
Reeling in a fish at Cave Mountain Lake is nearly guaranteed! The lake's first stocking of the season is April 6, just in time for Cave Mountain Lake’s annual Kids Fishing Day on May 5! From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., children age 3 to 15 fish for free, though state game laws for the Youth Fisheries Program do apply. Fishermen of all ages are expected to adhere to the daily creel limit of three trout, seven inches long or longer.
All day use visitors are required to pay the day use fee of $5 per car, except for May 5, the annual Kids Fishing Day. For more information, contact the Glenwood and Pedlar Ranger Districts at (540) 291-2188. The office is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
Glen Maury Park
Perhaps the most kid-friendly fishing hole in all of Rockbridge County is the Maury River along the banks of Glen Maury Park in Buena Vista. Thanks to the ease of access along the park portion of the river, children and their parents can cast and reel like pros. Camping, picnicking, and summer music festivals are favorite pastimes at Glen Maury.
Lake A. Willis Robertson
Lake Robertson is a 31-acre calm body of water perfect for introducing your child to fishing. Grassy banks and a fishing dock are prime locations for casting a line, and the biters include sunfish, largemouth bass, bluegill, and walleye. Camping at Lake Robertson is an option, or a day trip is just as nice. Picnic tables, pavilions, swimming pool, playground, boat rentals, and miles of trails ensure you have plenty to do when the fun of fishing wears down.