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Well, summertime is definitely here and for a lot of folks that means the kids are out of school. Naturally, this is when youngsters have more time on their hands. Now is a great time to get kids interested in fishing. It will keep them busy, teach them patience and respect for others and for the environment, and they'll be more likely to stay out of trouble.

For kids to get involved in fishing, they need someone to help them get started. Rather than giving the youngster some money to blow at the mall, consider purchasing a rod and reel combo and beginner's tackle box. They are relatively inexpensive and the investment can be something that will turn your child into a more responsible individual.

To get kids hooked on fishing they need to have the right equipment, have the knowledge of how and where to use it, and be successful in catching fish.

The equipment can be very affordable. The knowledge can be obtained by watching fishing shows and video tapes. As far as where to go to catch fish, there are lots of options in the summer. Summertime is when fishing from the shore or pier is best. Piers provide shady cover for the fish and shorelines usually have lots of panfish that relate to just about anything.

Remember that rather than trying for a lunker, kids should try for numbers of fish. I recommend using a small hook and bobber. Crickets and night crawlers purchased at bait shops are unbeatable for action.

Hook the cricket or short piece of worm on the hook and cast it by visible cover. It won't take long to get a bite, especially at this time of year.

Once kids become successful at catching fish, they'll be hooked. Fishing and the experiences surrounding each trip will be more meaningful in the long run than anything else I can think of.

Teaching or just allowing your youngsters to go fishing will make them more responsible. It will provide an education for them in the outdoors. They will have the opportunity to learn and experience things that they could never learn in school.

Fishing and the outdoors for me is a way of life. It is something that I believe will help kids grow up to be better adults. If you're looking for something to keep your kids busy this summer, consider fishing.

Keith Warren is the host of the Texas Angler and Hunting & Outdoor Adventures Television shows, both of which broadcast statewide. Catch the Texas angler from January through June and Hunting & Outdoor Adventures from July through December on Fox Sports Southwest Cable Network on Sunday mornings at 9:30 A.M. CST. You can write to Keith Warrren at P.O. Box 310379, New Braunfels, Texas 78131-0379 or visit on-line at

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