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June 18, 2009

‘Take Me Fishing 101’ Video Series Prepares New Anglers for Outdoor Adventure

AUSTIN, Texas — A new "how-to" video series from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department walks novice anglers through everything they need to know to get started in a sport that often is seen as a gateway to the great outdoors.

The 11-segment "Take Me Fishing 101" series is hosted on the TPWD Web site and also on the department’s YouTube channel, and it is believed to be the first-ever, comprehensive instructional fishing series created by a state fish and game conservation agency.

"We have encountered a lot of young parents who want to go fishing and take their kids fishing, but don’t necessarily know how to go about it," said TPWD Aquatic Education Coordinator Ann Miller. "So, Parks & Wildlife has tried to identify barriers and remove them so that more people are able to enjoy the experience of fishing and being outdoors. The DVD series is just part of the overall effort by Texas Parks & Wildlife to make fishing more accessible to more people.

"We began by offering basic family fishing courses at a variety of state parks. But, even though we have 14 state parks that regularly host these courses, we knew that effort wasn’t reaching everyone. We felt like a video series that could be easily accessed would reach a lot more people."

Miller is quick to point out access to useful information has long been a hindrance to individuals looking to gain entrance into the angling world. Therefore, making the "Take Me Fishing" video series available in a variety of manners was an importance consideration as the release date drew near.

"We really wanted make sure anyone who wanted and needed this information would be able to view this video series," said Miller. "So often you see people who really want to take up the sport of fishing but don’t know how to get started or maybe are intimidated to ask. This video series provides all the basic information necessary to get started and helps direct people to other resources that can help them advance as an angler.

"We’re making it available online at our website as well as on YouTube. Segments of the video series are also being incorporated into Texas Parks & Wildlife’s PBS television series. Those wishing to order a hard DVD will be able to do so online for a minimal cost."

Though prospective fishermen are able to view the "Take Me Fishing 101" video series for free online, the information the video segments contain is invaluable. From picking out a simple tackle selection to casting instruction, from water safety to cleaning your catch, the "Take Me Fishing 101" video series covers all the basics and prepares new anglers to tackle their newfound sport with confidence. The video series is comprised of 11 segments: 1 — Getting Started: Fishing Resources, 2 — Safe Fishing, 3 — Basic Gear Assembly, 4 — Tackle Box and Supplies, 5 — Baits and Lures, 6 — Casting, 7 — Don’t Mess With Texas Fish, 8 — Freshwater Fishing, 9 — Saltwater Fishing, 10 — Fishing With Kids, 11 — Clean and Store Your Catch.

"This video series is geared to new and novice anglers," Miller said. "We’re really striving to just hit the basics — to give someone the information they need to get started, but not bog them down with too much information. But, what they learn by watching this video series will enable them to gain additional information by tapping into other resources, both online and in their communities."

The bottom line, said Miller, is to allow people who are interested in fishing to be able to pursue the sport in an enjoyable and safe manner.

"We all know how fun fishing can be," Miller said. "But, for someone who has never fished or maybe fished a few times but lacks the experience to pursue it on their own, it can be intimidating. These video segments offer simple, practical advice to make sure they understand how to go about having a safe, enjoyable and productive fishing trip."

And, Miller adds, every Texan will benefit from having an increased number of anglers across the state.

"Anglers are our best conservationists," said Miller. "They are very in-tune with our water resources and become the stewards of those resources. Today, there are so many choices of what to do that we feel it is of utmost importance to call attention to fishing. Fishing remains one of the most cost-effective entertainment values for families. And, we feel it is much healthier for families to spend their time outdoors rather than on the couch."

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.

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