Scouting/BSA/Fishing Merit Badge

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The requirements to this merit badge are copyrighted by the Boy Scouts of America. They are reproduced in part here under fair use as a resource for Scouts and Scouters to use in the earning and teaching of merit badges. The requirements published by the Boy Scouts of America should always be used over the list here. If in doubt about the accuracy of a requirement, consult your Merit Badge Counselor.
Reading this page does not satisfy any requirement for any merit badge. Per National regulations, the only person who may sign off on requirements is a Merit Badge Counselor, duly registered and authorized by the local Council. To obtain a list of registered Merit Badge Counselors, or to begin a Merit Badge, please contact your Scoutmaster or Council Service Center.

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."

Boy fishing in willow creek.jpg

Requirement 1[edit]

Do the following:

A. Explain to your counselor the most likely hazards you may encounter while participating in fishing activities, and what you should do to anticipate, help prevent, mitigate, and respond to these hazards.
B. 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.
C. Explain how to remove a hook that has lodged in your arm.
D. Name and explain five safety practices you should always follow while fishing.

Requirement 2[edit]

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.

Requirement 3[edit]

Demonstrate the proper use of two different types of fishing equipment.

Requirement 4[edit]

Demonstrate how to tie the following knots: improved clinch, Palomar, turle, blood loop (barrel knot), and double surgeon's loop. Explain how and when each knot is used.

Requirement 5[edit]

Name and identify five basic artificial lures and five natural baits and explain how to fish with them. Explain why bait fish are not to be released.

Requirement 6[edit]

Do the following:

A. Explain the importance of practicing Leave No Trace techniques. Discuss the positive effects of Leave No Trace on fishing resources.
B. Discuss the meaning and importance of catch and release. Describe how to properly release a fish safely to the water.

Requirement 7[edit]

Obtain and review the regulations affecting game fishing where you live. Explain why they were adopted and what you accomplish by following them.

Requirement 8[edit]

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.

Requirement 9[edit]

Catch at least one fish and identify it. If regulations and health concerns permit, clean and cook a fish you have caught. Otherwise, acquire a fish and cook it.

External links[edit]

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