Firefighters, Law Enforcement Try Hand At Bass Fishing

OUTDOORS UNDER THE RIM

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A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to be a small part in a very special event for Arizona lawmen and firefighters.

Every year, there is an event called the Arizona Police Olympics where a multi-sport venue plays host to all lawmen and firefighters.

Recently, they added competitive bass fishing because of the growing interest among amateurs to compete in this fast growing sport.

Nelson Lapan, a retired policeman and member of the Arizona Police Federation, headed up the two-day tournament held at Roosevelt Lake, where 25 teams from throughout the state tried their luck at bass fishing.

It was a midweek tournament, which allowed teams to fish the entire lake without competition from the weekend crowds.

Consequently, the five-fish limits brought in were very healthy, with Lance Hunt of the Phoenix Police Department taking top honors with a 17.5-pound bag -- good enough for the gold medal. It was his best finish in the three police Olympics he has participated in.

He spent the two days prior to the tournament in prefishing and asking questions of Bill Kile, staff pro at The Tackle Box. Success in bass fishing often means time on the water as well as taking advice from local fishermen.

In this case, it worked for Lance Hunt, the gold medalist for 2006.

During the luncheon and awards presentation that followed the tournament, I noticed a unique camaraderie among the competitors as they were having fun and ribbing each other about the ones that got away.

I realized that these men and women had a chance to get away from the pressures of putting their lives on the line daily as they work in their profession.

Thank you, firefighters and policemen, for a job well done.

This weekend, take someone fishing and enjoy God's creation.

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