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Things to tackle before your next fishing trip

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Don’t let a brittle line or dull hook stand between you and your next catch. Routine maintenance of your fishing equipment might seem tedious, but it can make a big difference when you’re out on the water. Here are a few tasks to complete before your next fishing trip.

Clean your rod and reel
Wash your fishing rod in warm, soapy water and dry it with a soft cloth. Rinse the outside of the reel but be careful not to get water in the interior mechanisms. Use a cotton swab to clean the reel gears before lightly oiling them. Replace the line if necessary. Inspect your rod, reel and line guides for anything that’s loose or damaged.

Organize your tackle box
Start by emptying out your tackle box and wiping it down with a damp cloth. Sharpen hooks, inspect bait and discard rusty or damaged components. Take note of any items you need to replace. Once everything is clean, reorganize the supplies in your tackle box for easy access when you’re on the water.

Inventory your supplies
You need more than a rod and reel for a successful fishing trip. Check your landing net for tears and a weak rim. Are your waders still waterproof? Make sure you have a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen to protect you from the elements. Don’t forget a lifejacket and insect repellant. Put together a shopping list of missing, worn out or expired items.

Once your gear is ready to go, take some time to review the regional regulations and make sure your fishing license is still valid. Following these steps will help ensure your next trip is a good one.

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5 kinds of fishing lures

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Lures are designed to simulate live bait and have several other advantages. In addition to being less messy, they can help you cast further and target species more directly. Here are five kinds of commonly used lures.

1. Plugs
These hard-plastic lures are shaped and painted to resemble baitfish and other prey. They have a thin sheet of metal on one end, called a lip or bill, which makes the lure wobble. Types of plugs include crankbaits, minnows, wobblers, shallow-divers, and deep-divers.

2. Spoons

These metal lures resemble a spoon without a handle. The concave shape causes them to wobble and reflect light, thereby resembling an injured baitfish, which is something no game fish can resist.

3. Soft plastic baits
Used primarily for bass fishing, these types of lures are designed to resemble worms, crawfish, lizards, frogs, and other prey.

4. Spinnerbaits
These lures have one or more oval-shaped blades that spin rapidly and reflect light when pulled through the water. They imitate swimming bait fish like minnows and shiners, and they’re ideal for catching predatory species like bass, pike, and perch.

5. Buzzbaits
There are different styles of buzz bait, but the defining feature of this type of lure is its ability to vibrate as it moves through the water. Buzzbaits are used primarily to target bass in shallow water.

Are you still wondering which type of lure to use? If so, the staff at your local tackle shop can help you pick out the best option for the fishing you’re doing.

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June celebrity birthdays!

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Angelina Jolie, 45, actress, Los Angeles, CA, 1975. Stefan Servos / CC BY-SA (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)

Do you share a June birthday with a celebrity?

1 – Justine Henin, 38, former tennis player, Liege, Belgium, 1982.

2 –  Awkwafina, 32, actress, rap artist, born Nora Lum, Forest Hills, NY, 1988.

3 – Scott Valentine, 62, actor (Family Ties), Saratoga Springs, NY, 1958.

4 – Angelina Jolie, 45, actress, Los Angeles, CA, 1975.

5 – Kathleen Kennedy, 67, film producer, film executive (president of Lucasfilm), Berkeley, CA, 1953.

6 – Gary U.S. Bonds, 81, singer, songwriter, born Gary Anderson, Jacksonville, FL, 1939.

7 – Roberto Alagna, 57, opera singer, born Clichy-sous-Bois, Seine-Saint-Denis, France, 1963.

8 – Keenen Ivory Wayans, 62, actor (In Living Color), New York, NY, 1958.

9 – Natalie Portman, 39, actress (Black Swan, Thor), born Natalie Hershlag, Jerusalem, Israel, 1981.

10 – Kate Upton, 28, model, St. Joseph, MI, 1992.

11 – Mehmet Oz, 60, surgeon, television personality, Cleveland, OH, 1960.

12 – Marv Albert, 79, sportscaster, born Marvin Philip Aufrichtig, New York, NY, 1941.

13 – Chris Evans, 39, actor (The Avengers), Boston, MA, 1981.

14 – Marla Gibbs, 89, actress (The Jeffersons), born Margaret Bradley, Chicago, IL, 1931.

15 – Leah Remini, 50, actress (The King of Queens), Brooklyn, NY, 1970.

16 – Abby Elliott, 33, comedienne, actress (Saturday Night Live), New York, NY, 1987.

17 – Greg Kinnear, 57, actor, Logansport, IN, 1963.

18 – Blake Shelton, 44, country singer, television personality (The Voice), Ada, OK, 1976.

19 – Macklemore, 37, rapper, born Benjamin Haggerty, Kent, WA, 1983.

20 – John Goodman, 68, actor (Roseanne), Afton, MO, 1952.

21 – Kris Allen, 35, singer, television personality (American Idol), Jacksonville, AR, 1985.

22 – Randy Couture, 57, mixed martial artist, Everett, WA, 1963.

23 – Joel Edgerton, 46, actor, (The Great Gatsby), director, Blacktown, Australia, 1974.

24 – Sherry Stringfield, 53, actress (NYPD Blue), Colorado Springs, CO, 1967.

25 – Ricky Gervais, 59, actor, comedian, Reading, Berkshire, England, 1961.

26 – Jennette McCurdy, 28, actress, singer, Long Beach, CA, 1992.

27 – Chandler Riggs, 21, actor (The Walking Dead), Atlanta, GA, 1999.

28 – Thomas Hampson, 65, opera singer, Elkhart, IN, 1955.

29 – Gary Busey, 76, actor, musician, Baytown, TX, 1944.

30 – Cole Swindell, 37, singer, Glennville, GA, 1983.

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5 common camping mistakes to avoid

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If you’re going camping this summer, make sure to plan ahead. It’s all too easy to forget a key detail and then suffer the consequences. To ensure you have a terrific time, here are some common mistakes to avoid.

1. Choosing the wrong campground
Do your research to find a campground that checks all your boxes. In particular, consider the amenities you want. This may include laundry facilities, a pool, a tennis court, or lake access. You should also consider what type of camping spot you’d like, whether it’s a secluded area in the forest or a shared campsite with a community feel.

2. Bringing gear that doesn’t work

Inspect all your equipment to make sure it’s in good condition. If you have any new gear, familiarize yourself with it in advance. For example, run through setting up a new tent in your backyard.

3. Being ill-prepared for the weather
Check the weather forecast and prepare for all eventualities. Even if there’s only a small chance of rain, play it safe and bring rain gear such as a poncho, rain boots, and a tarp. Keep in mind that the temperature can dip at night.

4. Leaving your first aid kit at home
You should always take along a first aid kit. It should have all the items you need to handle cuts, abrasions, injuries, and aches. Additionally, it’s a good idea to bring things you can use to repair your tent if need be such as tape, rope, and a needle and thread.

5. Taking local wildlife for granted
Determine what types of animals inhabit the area where your campground is located and learn how to react if you encounter them (bears, coyotes, moose, and others). Also, you should find out how to avoid attracting local wildlife to your campsite.

Additionally, be sure to arrive while the sun’s still up. It can be difficult to find your campsite, put up your tent, and locate the bathroom in the dark.

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Campsite kitchen essentials

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Are you going camping? With a bit of preparation, you can eat as well as you do at home. In addition to food, here’s what you’ll need.

• Matches, lighters or firelighters
• Plates and bowls
• Cups and mugs

• Cutlery
• Cooking utensils (spatula, tongs, etc.)
• Pots and pans
• Knives
• A cutting board
• A can opener
• A dishpan, biodegradable soap, a sponge and towels
• Containers, bags and food wrap for storing leftovers
• Aluminum foil
• Paper towels
• Garbage bags
• Potable water
• A cooler and ice bags
• A coffee maker
• A camp stove and fuel
• A telescoping fork
• A grill (for cooking on the fire)
• Scissors

For added convenience, use foldable or nestable tableware, multi-purpose cutlery, and cookware with detachable handles. This way you can reduce your load but still have a hearty spread.

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On the road – family life in an RV

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Step aside, tiny homes. Now it’s all about tiny homes on wheels. (Or are they ginormous trucks instead?)

RV living is all the rage, and more and more families are setting out on adventures in their motor homes. It’s a great way for kids to learn history and geography first-hand, to bring the family pet and the stuffed animals along, and to have never-ending campfires.

Family life in an RV is also no joke. Consider one bathroom, limited storage space, and rainy days. But with some advanced planning, family RV life can prove rewarding.

Two recommended items: blackout curtains and a white noise machine. The curtains help you potentially avoid a 5:30 a.m. wakeup call, while a white noise machine helps the younger ones sleep, gives the adults a little privacy, and can help with rowdy neighbors.

Other suggestions:

* Downsize, downsize, downsize. Ain’t no shame in wearing the same tee-shirt over and over; in fact, it’s a necessity.

* Consider Roadschooling. Roadschooling is a form of homeschooling in which zoos, museums, and science centers participate in reciprocal programs.

* Planning: get on it. You might consider yourself nomads, but a little planning goes a long way while still allowing you to explore. It’s important to know where you’re headed and what amenities they have (industrial-sized washers and dryers, anyone?).

* Bring some familiar items. Adventure is fun but it can also be disorienting. Let kids bring some familiar items for when homesickness sets in.

* Get online. A multitude of Facebook groups and online communities exist to help with ideas and support.

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A guide to cycling etiquette and safety

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When you ride a bike, it’s important to be courteous and respect the rules of the road. Here’s how to stay safe and be considerate toward motorists, pedestrians, and other cyclists.

Signal your intentions
Make sure to always let other road users know where you want to go, using your left arm to indicate that you’re about to turn. To signal you want to go left, extend your arm straight to the side. To indicate you want to turn right, bend your arm up¬ward at the elbow.

You should also warn pedestrians and cyclists if you intend to pass them by calling out or using your bell. Before coming to a complete stop, pull over to the side so you don’t cause an accident.

Ride single file
If you cycle with others, don’t ride side by side. This can obstruct oncoming cyclists and prevent others from safely passing you. Additionally, zigzagging between pedestrians and other cyclists and deviating into empty parking spaces can be dangerous.

Keep your distance
Don’t attempt to pass another cyclist if you might brush up against them or have to squeeze through a narrow space. In addition to being rude, this can lead to an accident.

Wait your turn
When you’re at a red light, don’t try to advance to the front of the line. Be patient and give priority to the people who were there first. If someone allows you to go ahead of them, be sure to wave or otherwise signal your thanks.

Finally, remember to be tolerant of inexperienced and slow cyclists. They may not know proper cycling etiquette yet and are still learning.

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