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Go Fish

Have a Huck Finn moment in Brooklyn.

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Even if you don’t own a fishing pole, it’s worth the trip to the annual Macy’s Fishing Contest at Prospect Park, one of those must-do summer events for kids stuck in the city. Everything they need to nab one of the five species living in the Lullwater is provided at the Audubon Center, and Macy’s will award fishing-gear prizes. There’s also a tagged largemouth bass in the pond, and the fisherkid who reels it in will win a family fishing trip on the waters of Sheepshead Bay. According to Camille Ferguson, who coordinates the 59-year-old contest, the free event, despite the lame prizes, is still pretty competitive. Some 5,000 kids under 15 participate in the contest, which runs from July 12 to July 16, with winners for the most fish caught and the longest catch awarded daily. Ferguson will also hold a fishing clinic on July 1, for urban families who think bait and tackle is a singles move. If you’re squeamish about causing pain, bear in mind that all these activities are catch-and-release. “The hooks are not barbed, so there’s no physical harm done,” says Ferguson. “It’s similar to sticking a pin through the tip of your finger.” Blessing the event on opening day will be Parks commissioner Adrian Benepe. Will he kiss the fish, as his eccentric predecessor, Henry Stern, did? “While I share Henry’s reverence for trees and other living things,” he says, “the only fish that passes across my lips is either cooked or sushi.”

Clinic on 7/1 from noon to 2 p.m.; contest from 7/12 to 7/16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Prospect Park Audubon Center at the Boathouse, enter the park at Lincoln Rd. and Ocean Ave., Prospect Park, Brooklyn (718-287-3400, ext. 114, or prospectpark.org); both the clinic and the contest are free


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