Hooked on Fishing


The Future Fisherman Foundation’s Hooked on Fishing – Not on Drugs program (HOFNOD) is one of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s most active youth educational programs. With this program we are able to promote family togetherness through fishing within the State of Maine.

Can the simple act of going fishing really be used to overcome a very serious issue that is affecting our young people today? Surprisingly, yes!

Some of the reasons youth begin using alcohol or other drugs include: boredom, lack of motivation, poor social and communication skills, low self-esteem and peer pressure. The Hooked on Fishing - Not on Drugs program uses fishing to address: positive alternatives to drug use, motivation, communication, self-esteem building, responsibility, positive role models, the ability to overcome peer pressure, good problem-solving and decision making skills, and improved family interaction.

Learning to fish does not guarantee that a child will remain drug free. However, children who possess the above life skills and can communicate with their parents are less likely to turn to drugs.

Program Funding: The 118th Legislature, enacted legislation that the Hooked on Fishing - Not on Drugs program be established in the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to encourage youth fishing activities in the State of Maine. The enactment of this law also authorized that the department may accept money, goods and services. Money, goods and services accepted by the department under this law may be used only for activities associated with youth education.

Thanks to our supportive sponsors FET, Inc, Kittery Trading Post, LLBean and Cabelas we are able to provide equipment for hundreds of youth fishing events each year – both open water and ice fishing. We are also able to provide free training to adult volunteers who are interested in establishing the program within their community.

Instructor Certification Workshops in Maine: Instructor training workshops are held through Maine each spring. Training is free and is open to adults who are 18 years or older that would like to begin using the program within their community. The program is very versatile and can be used within a community in a number of ways. Instructors do not need to be expert or experienced anglers but should have an interest in working with children and families.

The instructor training workshop is a 5 or 6 hour hands-on experience that works through some of the activities in the curriculum as well as providing education on Maine’s freshwater fish species, regulations, and tackle and equipment for first time or youth anglers. The goal for the training is that the instructors feel comfortable with the type of event(s) they would like to be involved with and know what resources are available both nationally and within Maine and also from MDIFW.

There are no instructor training workshops scheduled at this time.  Please contact emily.maccabe@maine.gov if you are interested in completing certification. 


Maine’s Youth only Fishing Waters

Future Fisherman Foundation

If you would like further information contact:

Brittany Humphrey, Activities Coordinator
Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife
284 State St, SHS 41
Augusta, ME 04333-0041
(207) 215-0292
or email brittany.humphrey@maine.gov

A young woman and young boy holding a fish. A young girl holding a trout. A young boy and man ice fishing.

Let's all work together to get Maine's Youth Hooked on Fishing-Not on Drugs

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