Fishing is a release valve allowing a mental respite from the burden of life’s stresses. The pleasure of sitting in serene natural surroundings on a pier or river bank is like a dose of medicine without the possible side effects. After the upfront cost of a license and tackle, fishing is a relatively inexpensive hobby. Accessible fishing opportunities are available across the United States. One of these four fishing opportunities may be just what the doctor ordered.
- Ballerina Pier 59: Located in Delaware County, Oklahoma, Ballerina Pier 59 is located on the tranquil Grand Lake and is easily maneuvered by individuals with mobility devices. The lake comprises over 46,500 acres in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains and contains over 1,300 miles of shoreline. Anglers may drop a line off the pier to fish for bass, catfish and crappie. The lake was ranked in 2013 by Bassmaster Magazine as the 15th best lake for bass fishing.
- Deep Creek Lake State Park: Deep Creek Lake State Park is located in Garrett County, Maryland. The park showcases Maryland’s largest manmade lake, complete with an accessible fishing pier. The lake is home to carp, largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, pike, trout, redear along with many other species. Black crappie are often caught in the early morning or after the sun goes down. Experienced anglers say that crickets are the best bait for catching bluegill in Deep Creek Lake.
- Hanging Rock State Park: A 12-acre lake recently stocked with rainbow trout is located in Hanging Rock State Park in Stokes County, North Carolina. An accessible pier was constructed in 2013 at the lake. Unlike fishing for trout in mountain streams, it is not necessary to wade into the lake to fish. The lake is also a habitat for bluegill, largemouth bass and redear sunfish also.
- Navarre Beach Pier: An accessible fishing pier located in beautiful Navarre, Florida, has a ramp to provide easy access with mobility devices. The pier extends out over the ocean by 1,545 feet. The storm resistant pier is the longest pier in the Gulf of Mexico. The pier was constructed with sixteen accessible lower railing locations. The Gulf of Mexico is habitat for many species of fish. Mackeral, snapper, tuna and even shark may be caught from the pier.
*Photo courtesy of 2014 Fourth Annual Fly Fest Dec. 5-7 by Project Healing Waters Fly at Flickr’s Creative Commons.