Fishing, boating

Published 2:40 pm Thursday, July 1, 2010

Free fishing on the 4th of July in North Carolina Waters

Remember on Sunday, July 4th, you can fish for free. And if you dont have any fishing gear, North Carolina has a program for first-time and novice anglers in North Carolina. They are encouraged to borrow rods and reels free of charge to join in the fishing fun this year. The loaner rods and reels are provided by various city and county parks statewide and by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission through the Commissions Fishing Tackle Loaner Program (FTLP). The Commission created the Fishing Tackle Loaner Program to introduce North Carolinians, especially children, to fishing and to encourage novice anglers to continue developing their angling skills.

The Commission works cooperatively with the American Sportfishing Association to expand the tackle loaner program to parks that are already participating in the Commissions Community Fishing Program.

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Heres how it works

The Fishing Tackle Loaner Program operates just like a library. Anglers of all ages register at participating parks to receive a tackle loaner ID card, which allows them to check out a rod and reel. Anglers under 18 years of age must have a parent or guardian complete the registration form.

After returning the loaner rods and reels to the park office, first-time participants under 16 years of age will receive a free mini-tackle box containing hooks, bobbers, sinkers, and a stringer. Tackle loaner ID cards can be used at other participating sites in North Carolina, but rods and reels must be returned to the original loaner site. Contact Patty Aldred at the Recreation Department on 105 N Peak St. Columbus, N.C. 28722, 8:30-5:00 Monday-Friday, (828) 894-8199.

Boat Safe, Boat Sober is a timely message for this July 4th holiday weekend, because it is expected to be a busy time on waterways. Operating a recreational vessel while under the influence of an impairing substance or with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher is illegal. The maximum penalty is a $1,000 fine and possible jail.

Fishing Report

Hot weather has slowed things down considerably this week.&bsp; The temperature has had more of an effect on fishermen than the fish. The bass are still being caught in the early morning and late afternoon near shore but they move to deeper water along points and drop offs during the day.&bsp; Crappie are still being caught in deeper water on minnows.&bsp; Bream fishing will remain strong throughout the summer. Bream will be on the bed this week and will be easy to find by sight and smell. Trout fishing has been good this week with several three pound fish being reported.&bsp; Carp and catfish are also easy to catch in hot weather. Good luck. This information comes from Ken Haynes, Silver Creek Campground & White water Outfitters.

Safe Boating Class

The next Safe Boating Class is scheduled for July 7th from 6:00-9:00pm. The classes will be held at the Columbus Rescue Squad, Columbus, N.C., for two consecutive nights.

Remember, after May 1, 2010, any person under the age of 26 must successfully complete a NASBLA approved boating education course before operating any vessel propelled by a motor of 10 HP or greater.

Quote for the week:

Men and fish are alike. They both get into trouble when they open their mouths.?Jimmy D Moore