Saturday, April 21, 2007

Take a kid fishing

• Keep it simple. A cane pole, live bait or canned corn, bobber, split shot and tiny hook make the perfect kid's fishing rig. Look for action. Walleye, northern pike or smallmouth bass might be your preferred catch but to a kid, any fish is a trophy. Panfish are often the most cooperative and can usually be found near shore.

• Distractions. Pack a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, cookies or just a bag of crunchy granola. A pair of binoculars, bird books or even a bucket of minnows can delay the sound of "I wanna go home" for hours.

• Safety. Wear a lifejacket. Kids are great imitators - if they see adults wearing a lifejacket, they'll wear theirs. Be sure to pack band-aids, pliers, a handkerchief, sunscreen and raingear.

• Have fun. At its heart, fishing is about memories. So make them. Be willing to stop and turn over rocks, feed the ducks or just wander around looking for frogs. It doesn't matter. Wonderful memories will be formed when people make fishing fun.

Minnesota's walleye and northern pike opener is May 12. The bass season opens May 26 for most of the state, and muskellunge become legal on June 2. Seasons are already open for crappie and sunfish.

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