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July 24, 2014

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Columnist Barb Henderson: Free Fishing Day scheduled for June 14

Barb Henderson is an outdoors enthusiast, freelance writer and producer/host of outdoors radio television programming. Her column appears Friday in the Sun.

For one day and one day only, Nevada Division of Wildlife designates a Free Fishing Day in Nevada. This year it will be Saturday, June 14.

On that day, folks will not be required to have a fishing license to fish Nevada public waters. However, anglers must still follow rules and regulations.

"Free Fishing Day is a special day utilized to allow non-anglers and families an opportunity to try the sport of fishing," said Ivy Santee, the NDOW fishing education coordinator. "This day has been set aside as a fun day for residents and non-residents alike to enjoy the wonders of fishing."

What an awesome opportunity for introducing the sport of fishing to someone who has never fished.

Could that someone be you?

This day opens a window of opportunity for introducing the sport to children.

I've been around fishing all my life -- both my parents truly enjoyed the sport -- and as I reflect back to my childhood, I quickly envision a red bobber on my fishing line floating upon the water surface.

So how do you get children interested in becoming a lifelong angler?

Gordon Holland, executive director of Hooked On Fishing International, shared these tips on taking children fishing for the first time:

"My favorite expression is, keep it simple and short. Take a small child to a fishing location where they are all but guaranteed to catch a fish. Make it a short trip from the house, make the outing duration short (no more than a couple of hours), and use the very basic fishing tackle ... spin-cast reel, very short rod, bobber and worms!

"Be sure to take plenty of snacks and liquid refreshments. They must find the sport fun and rewarding for them to want to grow into the sport."

Santee, who has fished almost all her entire, stressed the importance of making it a fun outing.

"If you enjoy what you're teaching," she said, "that enthusiasm will rub off on the child, but don't force it. And when the child starts to get distracted or bored, stop and find something else to do. If you are at the lake; take a walk, look at birds, but most important, keep it fun.

"Next time you ask the child if they want to go fishing, they will be happy to go."

On Nevada's Free Fishing Day, NDOW will be having a free fishing clinic and a children's fishing derby at Floyd Lamb State Park in Las Vegas. There will also be a fishing derby at the Echo Canyon State Park in Lincoln County.

For information on all of Nevada's Free Fishing Day activities, click on the Internet at www.ndow.org or call the Nevada Division of Wildlife at 486-5127 ext. 3504.

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