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MONDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2007
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Take a kid fishing; it’ll be worth it

I preach it all the time. And, I try to practice what I preach.

“Take a kid fishing.”

If I had a nickel for every time I said it, I would definitely be a very rich man financially. But, as it is, by taking kids fishing, I’m a rich man in personal satisfaction, having watched so many kids produce so many smiles. And, hopefully ,the education and techniques that I teach them will be passed on for generations. Hopefully, I’m not through taking kids fishing, but if I were, I would be proud in knowing I taught them about the outdoors.

Alabama has used the same phrase many times, also. And now, it looks like the state is trying to bring in funding to protect fish and wildlife so future generations of children can enjoy outdoors much like we do today.

When it comes time to renew your vehicle license plate, consider investing $50 to help ensure that the state’s water resources are protected and enhanced.

For each “Take a Kid Fishing” tag purchased, $41.25 is allocated to three important water resource programs managed by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources — Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division.

Alabama’s Habitat Enhancement and Restoration Team (HEART) benefits aquatic wildlife in flowing streams and lakes.

Alabama’s Aquatic Biodiversity Center in Perry County, the nation’s largest state non-game recovery program of its kind, is dedicated to reproducing, growing and stocking many imperiled aquatic species into the state’s public waters.

Alabama’s Aquatic Resource Education Program provides conservation educational opportunities through classroom instruction and outdoor activities.

“The revenue generated by these tag sales helps the programs that enhance fish habitat in public waters, restore Alabama’s threatened and endangered aquatic species, and promote the community fishing programs for kids,” said Commissioner M. Barnett Lawley.

The “Take a Kid Fishing” tags can be purchased in county license offices statewide, according to the news release from the DCNR.

Artwork on the tag features a largemouth bass and, as an added bonus, the tags can be personalized at no additional cost.

Note: Some offices may not be prepared for this yet, so checking beforehand might be an excellent idea.

Future events

I have to admit that I am looking forward to covering the Bassmaster Classic tournament with my brother Jay on Feb. 23-25 in Birmingham. Having covered the event many times, I already know the event will be exciting from beginning to end.

The three-day event is an outdoor writer’s dream tournament.

You get to watch and learn bass fishing’s greatest secrets from the best anglers in the world. You also get to look at the latest equipment before it goes on the market. Also, you can get some fantastic deals if you are in the mood for buying things such as tackle or even bass boats.

As much as I look forward to covering the Bassmaster Classic, there is a one-day event that I’m looking forward
to much more than the
Classic.

I will be riding shotgun with probably the best bass-fishing student I ever had the privilege of teaching.

Brandon Price and myself have spent countless hours on the water where I not only taught fishing, but I learned a few things as well.

Brandon, now 25, played two years on the Dixie Boys baseball team I coached. His mother Debbie did many things for the team that I was going to give her somewhat of a gift by taking her son fishing. If there ever was a 13-year-old that loved to go bass fishing, Brandon, without a doubt, would have to rank somewhere near the top of youngsters who love the sport. He simply could not get enough of it.

Brandon would fish every single day if he could.

The bass tournament we will be fishing is April 28 on Wheeler Lake.

“I’m exciting to get on the water with you again,” said Brandon, an engineer in Huntsville. “I would love to do a lot of prefishing for this tournament, as it is tough to get respect in my club since I’m the young buck.

“I look forward to prefishing and putting together a winning strategy with you. Most of all, I look forward to catching up with you. Stack and Brandon are marked down on my calendar.”

To say I’m excited about this would be an understatement. And, there’s a good chance I will be the student and Brandon will be the teacher since we are fishing in his boat.

Even though I’m 22 years older than my student, I’m not too old to learn.

In many ways, I feel like I’m a young buck, too.

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Paul Stackhouse
Outdoors
Paul Stackhouse

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