Mason student provides fishing advice, help during internship with Fairfax parks

Chase Brown
Mason student Chase Brown created a fishing web page for the Fairfax County Park Authority as part of his internship. Photo provided

Chase Brown, a 22-year-old George Mason University senior, has some simple advice for getting through the coronavirus pandemic: Go fishing!

“Fishing is one of the best things you can do right now,” said Brown, a recreation management: parks and outdoor recreation major. “It’s already a socially distanced hobby because you can do it by yourself or with your friends, six feet apart. It’s very rewarding, and it gets you outside.”

Brown has been helping Fairfax residents with their fishing questions and needs this past semester through an internship and employment with the Fairfax County Park Authority. During the fall, Brown helped create a web page dedicated to fishing information. He wrote articles filled with tips and observations about what to catch and how at various parks locations. He also led socially distanced fishing programs and kayak tours.

“Chase took the lead on designing the web page and then finding ways to keep it current,” said Dan Grulke, Lake Accotink park manager and fishing coordinator for Fairfax County Park Authority’s lake-front parks. “He has an excellent work ethic, and he loves the outdoors, nature and fishing. He’s also a great communicator.”

Brown says that fishing in Fairfax County gets a little more difficult during the winter, but will pick up as the temperature warms up a bit.

“There’s great bass fishing in early spring,” said Brown.

He also has his favorite spots in Fairfax County, such as Huntsman Lake. He says that Burke Lake is a very popular fishing site, offering catfish, bass and even the occasional walleye.

Growing up in Alexandria, Virginia, Brown learned to fish with his father. Brown advocates for young people to get into fishing as early as possible, like he did, “because if you like it, it will follow you into adulthood.”

“It’s just a very rewarding hobby,” Brown said. “You are the master of your destiny. You pick out your lure, you pick out your spot. It feels great when you succeed.”

Brown says he hopes to work in parks management after he graduates. His professors say they expect that he will succeed in his endeavors.

“Chase is clearly passionate about the world of parks and recreation,” said Ivan A. Levin, an adjunct professor in the College of Education and Human Development. “His unique voice and perspective will allow him to thrive and grow as a professional after his time at Mason.”