In Scouting for Boys, Baden-Powell offers this advice: "Every Scout ought to be able to fish in order to get food for himself. A tenderfoot [beginner] who starved on the bank of a river full of fish would look very silly, yet it might happen to one who had never learned to catch fish."


  1. Do the following:
    1. Discuss the prevention of and treatment for the following health concerns that could occur while fishing, including cuts and scratches, puncture wounds, insect bites, hypothermia, dehydration, heat exhaustion, heatstroke, and sunburn.
    2. Explain how to remove a hook that has lodged in your arm.
    3. Name and explain five safety practices you should always follow while fishing.
  2. Discuss the differences between two types of fishing outfits. Point out and identify the parts of several types of rods and reels. Explain how and when each would be used. Review with your counselor how to care for this equipment.
  3. Demonstrate the proper use of two different types of fishing equipment.
  4. Demonstrate how to tie the following knots: clinch, Palomar, turle, blood loop (barrel knot), and double surgeon's loop. Explain how and when each knot is used.
  5. Name and identify five basic artificial lures and five natural baits and explain how to fish with them. Explain why baitfish are not to be released.
  6. Do the following:
    1. Explain the importance of practicing Leave No Trace techniques. Discuss the positive effects of Leave No Trace on fishing resources.
    2. Discuss the meaning and importance of catch and release. Describe how to properly release a fish safely to the water.
  7. Obtain and review the regulations affecting game fishing where you live. Explain why they were adopted and what is accomplished by following them.
  8. Explain what good outdoor sportsmanlike behavior is and how it relates to anglers. Tell how the Outdoor Code of the Boy Scouts of America relates to a fishing sports enthusiast, including the aspects of littering, trespassing, courteous behavior, and obeying fishing regulations.
  9. Catch at least one fish. If regulations and health concerns permit, clean and cook a fish you have caught. Otherwise, acquire a fish and cook it.


Scouting Literature

Boy Scout Handbook, Conservation Handbook, and Fieldbook; Camping, Cooking, Environmental Science, First Aid, Fish and Wildlife Management, Fly-Fishing, Lifesaving, Soil and Water Conservation, and Swimming merit badge pamphlets.


  • Baron, Frank P. What Fish Don't Want You to Know: An Insider's Guide to Freshwater Fishing. Ragged Mountain Press, 2004.
  • Bashline, Sylvia. The New Cleaning & Cooking Fish: The Complete Guide to Preparing Delicious Freshwater Fish. Creative Publishing International, 1999.
  • Circle, Homer. Bass Wisdom. The Lyons Press, 2000.
  • Earnhardt, Tom. Boats for Fishermen. The Lyons Press, 2001.
  • Kaminsky, Peter. Fishing for Dummies. IDG Books Worldwide, 1997.
  • Maas, Dave. Kids Gone Fishin'. Creative Publishing International, 2001.
  • National Audubon Society. National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Fishes. Knopf, 2002.
  • Pfeiffer, C. Boyd. The Complete Book of Tackle Making. The Lyons Press, 1999.
  • Rosko, Milt. The Complete Book of Saltwater Fishing. Krause Publications, 2001.
  • Schultz, Ken. Ken Schultz's Fishing Encyclopedia: Worldwide Angling Guide. IDG Books Worldwide, 2000.
  • Sousa, Robert J. Learn to Fly Fish in 24 Hours. Ragged Mountain Press, 2006.
  • Vick, Noel. Fishing on Ice. Human Kinetics Publishers, 1999.
  • Wilson, Geoff. Geoff Wilson's Complete Book of Fishing Knots and Rigs. Australian Fishing Network, 2006.