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Columbus man wins boat in Take ’em Fishing challenge

LINCOLN, Neb. – Freddie Leibhart’s mom introduced him to fishing when he was young. Now, the Columbus man is doing the same for his children.

Better yet, he now can take them fishing in the new boat he won as the grand prize in the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s Take ’em Fishing challenge.

“I know she’s really going to like hearing that she passed the love of fishing on to me, and I’m doing the same with my kids,” said Leibhart, who has been purchasing lifetime hunting and fishing permits for his four children. “One of the most important things to me is passing it on. And I just can’t believe that I’m able to take my family out on the lake now.”

The 2020 grand prize Bass Tracker Classic boat from Bass Pro Shop’s/Cabela’s was presented to Freddie and Kim Leibhart and their family on Nov. 7 in La Vista. The Leibharts had taken their boys fishing, then submitted a photo of their son, Jake, who caught his first fish, to gain entry into the prize drawing.

The second year of the Take ’em Fishing challenge was a success, with more than 6,195 entries in the contest.

Take ’em Fishing challenges anglers to take a beginner fishing, or reintroduce someone to the sport, and submit a photo and story for the chance to win prizes. In its first year, the challenge had 4,700 entries and created 1,800 first-time anglers.

Other prizes in 2020 included Scheels gift cards, a guided fishing trip from Heartland DSC, a Nebraska state park stay and more. Prizes were announced on Facebook and Instagram. Photo submission highlights can be found on Game and Parks’ Facebook page.

“More people in Nebraska have been discovering or rediscovering the fun of fishing in 2020,” said Game and Parks Director Jim Douglas. “Take ’em Fishing contributed to that and the health of Nebraskans by getting them outdoors.”

The money generated through the sale of fishing permits and aquatic habitat stamps helps to maintain healthy fisheries and improve fishing access to Nebraska’s lakes, streams and rivers.

For more information or to purchase a fishing permit, go to OutdoorNebraska.org.

About Jerry Kane

Jerry Kane is the news manager with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. He can be contacted at jerry.kane@nebraska.gov or 402-471-5008.

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