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Wal-Mart fishing clinic teaches kids basics and safety

June 09, 2002|By RUDY YNIGUEZ

Staff Writer

Children of all ages showed up to learn the ins and outs of fishing Saturday at El Centro's Wal-Mart.

They learned how to tie various knots to hold hooks, how to cast and fish safely.

Manuel Aceves, public works director for the city of Brawley, taught the knot-tying and told the basics about the sport. He demonstrated, by using a child to pull the line, how to set the proper amount of drag on a reel so a fish doesn't pull out all of the line, yet not so tight that when a fish is hooked and turns away it doesn't break the line.

He also told them a properly tied fishing line knot will be about 95-98 percent as strong as the line itself.

One of those who brought children to the fishing clinic was El Centro resident Aide Alquijay, whose son, Brandon, 4, goes fishing with his father. Alquijay said although some things might have seemed too difficult for Brandon to do, she could see he was able to tackle them at the clinic.

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"They're also going to talk to them about safety," she said, adding father and son go fishing to Ramer Lake and the ocean.

Mitchell Edgmon, 12, of Imperial also attended the clinic.

He said he goes fishing at the Salton Sea, the Central Main Canal and the East Highline Canal. He said there is a certain amount of enjoyment in talking with friends while trying to land fish, some of which are released and some eaten. The sixth grade Ben Hulse student said he likes eating catfish.

With Mitchell was his 3-year-old cousin, Hunter Hall.

Hunter's mom, Imperial resident Kim Hall, said Hunter has never been fishing but he has a pole at home "that he throws around." She said her husband fishes off ditch banks.

The event was the fifth annual clinic sponsored by Wal-Mart, according to Raul Contreras, the store's sporting department manager.

"It's a good thing for the community to teach kids fishing basics and safety," he said, adding the clinic is just one of a number of events sponsored by the store's various departments.

Contreras said the fishing equipment being carried is aimed at the type of fishing found locally, with some equipment for ocean fishing.

"We have everything here," he said.

Saturday was a free fishing day throughout the state, as is Sept. 28. Children under the age of 16 do not need a fishing license, and their catch limit is the same as a licensed adult.

Meanwhile, Aceves showed off the contents of his corvina tackle box. He said corvina, because of their large size in the Salton Sea, provide the biggest bang for the buck.

"It's the top-of-the-line fish at the Salton Sea," he said, adding there are also sargo, tilapia and croaker to be caught. He said a 12-pound test line is a good-sized line for fishing at the Salton Sea, and that it is best to buy quality equipment because it lasts the longest.

>> Staff Writer Rudy Yniguez can be reached at 337-3440.

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