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Borrow a Rod at Mountain Road Library

Sorry, but you’ll have to catch your own fish

When you want to check out a book to read, you probably wouldn’t head to your local tackle store. Yet if you want to catch a fish, you might start at the library. Specifically, the Anne Arundel County Library on Mountain Road.
    Fishing poles are the latest addition to the library’s multimedia collection to, in the words of County Library chief Skip Auld, “educate, enrich and inspire our customers.”
    The poles go on loan April 12, as trophy rockfish season opens. But you won’t be likely to catch one of those giants on these fishing rods. Fitted with bobbers and hooks, these are pond and pier poles. They also come with basic information from Maryland Department of Natural Resources on how and where to catch a fish plus species size limits.
    Librarians will direct you to a tackle shop across the street for bait, which is likely to be bloodworms. The squeamish can buy artificial substitutes said to work almost as well. If you’re over 16, you’ll also need to buy a fishing license.
    To get to the water, you won’t have to go far. Downs Park is right down the road and Fort Smallwood Park a few miles away. Head for the piers, and drop your line.
    Waiting down below for your bait are perch, sunfish and small rockfish.
    If you catch one, after the thrill you’ll have big decisions. How to get your fish off the hook … whether it’s keeper size … if it is, how to keep it, clean it and cook it.
    Mountain Road is Maryland’s first library to lend out fishing rigs. If it catches on, DNR educator Stacy Epperson hopes to bring a program to a library in every county.
    “Maryland libraries have jumped on the bandwagon to present enrichment in STEM programs like this,” she said.
    Like other library materials, poles must be returned. Your loan lasts for two weeks. Return poles — but not fish — to the checkout desk.