The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is excited to announce a new summer-long, statewide challenge in which anglers can win great prizes just by sharing their love of fishing.
The Take ‘Em Fishing Challenge encourages experienced anglers to take a pledge to go fishing with someone who either has never fished before or who hasn’t fished in several years. Anglers who take a photo of themselves taking someone fishing can enter an online drawing for dozens of prizes, including a $500 Scheels gift card, fishing kayak, CampChef outdoor cooking equipment a stay in a Nebraska state park, and the grand prize – a new fishing boat.
“Every angler learned to fish from someone,” said Nebraska Game and Parks Director Jim Douglas. “We hope this challenge will inspire our experienced fishermen and fisherwomen to remember those early trips that helped grow their love of fishing, and to pass on the tradition to someone new.”
Douglas, who learned to fish from his parents, remembers catching his first sunfish when he was 4 or 5 years old on vacation with his family in Missouri. When he thinks back to that first catch, he remembers the sense of anticipation he felt then and still feels whenever he goes fishing, as well as the joy that the activity brings him.
“I don’t worry about other things when I’m fishing,” he said.
The benefits of fishing are numerous. Anglers report feeling more satisfied with the mental health, more inspired at work and closer to their families than non-anglers, according to the Recreational boating and Fishing Foundation.
Fishing is a unique sport in that it allows groups of friends or family to spend time together while engaged in the same activity, no matter the fitness or skill levels of the various participants. Fishing requires only basic, inexpensive equipment that can be found at any sporting goods store. Nebraska Game and Parks stocks ponds and lakes across the state with sportfish, which means that just about everyone can find a good fishing spot close by.
Fishing is also crucial to the conservation of our natural resources. Money generated through the sale of fishing permits and aquatic habitat stamps is used to maintain healthy fisheries in Nebraska water bodies, and to improve access for anglers. But many anglers are getting older, and we need a new generation of anglers to take their place to ensure the health and vitality of Nebraska’s aquatic resources for generations to come.
The Take ‘Em Fishing Giveaway will run from April 15 to Sept. 15, 2019. Anglers can take the pledge at OutdoorNebraska.org/fishingpledge. Taking the pledge is not required for contest entry. For more information about Take ‘Em Fishing Giveaway, including prizes, official rules and how to enter, visit OutdoorNebraska.org/TakeEmFishing. For questions on getting started in fishing or public places to fish, visit our website or contact your nearest Game and Parks office.