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Top-10 tips for taking a youngster fishing
(From ESPN outdoors)
Angling technique, gear and loads of patience are the order of the day

KETCHUM, Okla. The recipe for teaching a little person to fish includes one dash of angling technique, two or three tablespoons of gear and several cups of patience.

Jessica Rolando, 5, was on her first salmon trip on New York's Salmon River when she caught and released a 24-pound king.

This is the advice of the organization Hooked on Fishing International (HOFI), which has helped introduce more than 6 million youngsters and their family members to the sport of fishing.

This year, HOFI's 16th, the organization will help conduct more than 1,500 Wal-Mart Kids All-American Derbies and put a rod and reel into the hands of another 250,000 young people.

Here are their top-10 tips, the same recipe that HOFI shares with thousands of adult volunteers who plan and supervise the fishing derbies nationwide.

1. Tackle: Size the rod and reel to the child. Small bobbers and small hooks encourage more fish nibbles and the supreme thrill for a youngster a tug on the line.

2. Bait. Yes, for safety's sake and because of the yuck factor, the adult may have to handle the protein. Use worms or minnows. HOFI records show these two baits catch 80 percent of the fish at the Wal-Mart Kids All American Fishing Derbies.

3. Food. Never, ever forget the snacks and drinks. If you do, turn the car around and go back for them. Food IS that important. Better bring some wet wipes to cleanse face and fingers before and after snacks.

4. Camera. Fishing is all about making and preserving memories. Bring the camera and an extra roll of film. If your camera has a built-in flash, use it with every shot, even in bright sunlight. The flash will eliminate shadows on young, excited faces.

5. Life jacket. In a boat, youngsters are required to wear a life jacket. That's the law. On the bank of a pond or stream, they should wear one, too. That's common sense.

6. Sunscreen. Bring it. Use it. On the water, the sun can do double the damage because harmful rays not only come from above, they are also reflected from the water. This is underlined by the fact that young skin is prone to sunburn.

7. Insect repellent. This is almost as important as the sunscreen, and always a good thing to have on hand. Biting bugs can veto any fishing trip. Fight back.

8. Location. Fish close to home. That's the rule of thumb dictated by the generation whose favorite phrases include, "Are we there yet?" and "When are we going home?"

9. Timing. As they say, timing is everything. Let the young angler decide when enough is enough. If anything, it's better to quit before alarm bells ring. That keeps desire in the bank for the next fishing trip. Time your fishing for the most comfortable time of the day, usually morning.

10. Patience. Three or more level cups of this vital ingredient are critical to a successful fishing trip and the creation of a new fishing partner.

This is the same advice that HOFI dispenses to the volunteer adult groups and parents who do the hard work of planning and supervising the Wal-Mart Kids All-American Fishing Derbies.

To find the fishing derby closest to them, parents can go to HOFI's website and use the Derby Locator feature.

"All you do is enter your zip code and the Derby Locator will search the database of derbies and list the nearest event, location, the name of the contact person and his or her phone number," said Gordon Holland, executive director.

Click here for Wal-Mart's "Take a Kid Fishing" program info... 


Tip #1: Wet your line before you tighten your knots. It prevents breakage later on...

Tip #2: Stretch your line after putting new line on your rod. It tangles less when it gets straightened out, instead of having that curly-ness to it. I do this by hooking a tree in my yard and going across the yard and reeling myself back in...

Tip #3: 


To be announced...


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