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Fishing

Nebraskans are invited to accept the Take ’em Fishing Challenge, pledging to take a new or inexperienced angler fishing to keep the state’s fishing tradition alive well into the future.

Who took you?

Who got you started fishing? Dad? Mom? Granddad? Grandmother? Uncle? Friend?

I am betting it was one of those folks, and I am betting it started with just one trip, maybe one fish, and you were fascinated and hooked for life (pun intended).

So, who are you going to take?

Oh, I know, many of you reading this have already done that, likely have already introduced not one but several folks to fish and fishing. But, in case you have not, you should know how important it is to introduce someone new to the sport of fishing. It is important for the sport, important for the resources, important for you and the folks you know. In order to encourage folks to find someone new and introduce them to fishing, and to reinforce how important it is for those of you who are already doing it, we want to challenge you with Take ’Em Fishing.

Take ’Em Fishing is a program that will run this open-water fishing season, from April 15 through Sept. 15. It is a pledge that you will introduce or reintroduce someone to the sport of fishing. The pledge is most valid if you recite it while placing your left hand on a tackle box, right hand over your heart. Once you have taken the pledge, you can receive a hat pin and bumper sticker to display to encourage other anglers to do the same.

Then, find someone who has never been fishing or maybe someone who has not fished in the past year or two, and take ’em fishing. It could be a youngster, maybe a son or daughter, niece or nephew, but it does not necessarily have to be a youth. It could be a co-worker, neighbor, friend, acquaintance from the coffee shop, the guy you sit next to at the baseball game, whoever. I am betting you can find someone and get ’em out there.

When you do that, take a photo of the two of you fishing together, with or without a fish, and submit it to register for a whole list of great prizes. Just visit outdoornebraska.gov/takeemfishing to read the rules and to take the pledge.

I do not know why you would need prizes as an incentive, having another excuse to go fishing should be incentive enough. Just be careful — when you take someone and introduce them to fishing, they might end up out-fishing you.

Daryl Bauer is the fisheries outreach program manager for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Contact him at daryl.bauer@nebraska.gov. Read his blog, Barbs and Backlashes, at OutdoorNebraska.org.

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