‘Take Me Fishing 101’ Videos Help New Anglers Gear Up

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AUSTIN, Texas — You walk into a sporting goods store and see a row of fishing poles hanging from a shelf.  All of them look the same, and you become so overwhelmed that you leave in frustration.  You’ve always wanted to pick up the sport but don’t really know where to even begin.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s "Take Me Fishing 101" 11-part video series will help get you from the sporting goods store to the water to landing your first big catch in no time. The series provides beginning anglers will all the necessary information to start fishing.

As TPWD Aquatic Education Coordinator Ann Miller notes at the beginning of segment 3, "The fishing department at a sporting goods store can be a little overwhelming."

And, asking questions of even the friendliest of shop clerks can be a little intimidating for those new to the sport. However, through the course of three short segments, ’Basic Gear Assembly,’ ’Tackle Box and Supplies,’ and ’Bait and Lures,’ Miller and TPW Outdoor Education Program staffer Steve Campbell guide new fishermen through the maze of available tackle, equipment and bait.

Starting with ’Basic Gear Assembly’ in segment 3, Miller walks beginners through assembling a multi-piece rod, threading line through eyelets, tying a Palomar knot and attaching a bobber and sinker. She also explains the purpose and function of each piece of gear.

Segment 4, ’Tackle Box and Supplies,’ provides anglers with an extensive, yet necessary list of tackle and equipment. Miller covers the presence of obvious items such as hooks and lures in a tackle box but also details other often overlooked necessities such as pliers, clippers, first aid kit and TPWD’s Outdoor Annual. Other items, like bug spray, sun protection and hand sanitizer are shown being packed into a small bag, giving new fishermen a practical means to carry all the gear needed to have an enjoyable and productive day on the water.

Campbell takes the lead in segment 5, ’Bait and Lures,’ and navigates new anglers through the dizzying array of lures and baits available in tackle shops. He lists a number of natural baits such as worms, minnows and crawfish, as well as some unconventional, yet effective baits such as corn and hot dogs. He also offers advice for how to keep bait fresh and how to get whatever bait you may use on a hook.

All of this information will come in handy for TPWD’s year-round "Free Fishing in State Parks" program.  TPWD has waived the normal fishing license and stamp requirements for anyone fishing inside the property boundary of a state park.  Access banks, piers, rivers or creeks by land or from a boat for only the cost of the park entrance fee.  Some parks will even provide free loaner equipment and bait.

TPWD’s "Take Me Fishing 101" video series was made possible by federal Sportfish Restoration Act funds and a donation from Toyota and the Texas Bass Classic Foundation. The entire series is available online at the TPWD Web site and on TPWD’s official YouTube channel.

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