Taking Your Child Fishing

 

There are certainly plenty of things to do this spring, but few are better than spending an afternoon fishing with your children. Most kids – even those who’ve never had the chance to fish before – absolutely love to spend the day on the water while reeling in fish.

But, there’s a fine line between a great day on the water, which will fill their heads with wonderful memories, and a miserable day, which may turn them off from the sport for good. You can usually stay on the right side of that line by preparing correctly and adopting an approach that will likely result in stringers full of fish – a sure recipe for smiles.

The following five tips will help keep you on the right track:

1. Select a kid-friendly fishing spot.

You may enjoy leaning out over a rock while trying to pitch your lure under a tangle of overhanging branches, but you’ll want your kids to avoid doing so unless you want to spend all day retrieving snagged hooks. Instead, you’ll want to pick somewhere that is easy to access and provides plenty of space for your kids to cast safely. It’s also a good idea to select a place with plenty of sun or shade (as the season dictates) for comfort’s sake.

2. Target species that are easy to catch.

Your kids will have a better time if they actually catch fish – no one likes to stare at a float bobbing up and down in the water all day. Accordingly, you’ll want to target species that are easy to catch. This means ignoring the bass, trout and other popular game fish, and instead targeting the catfish and bluegill. You’ll get more bites doing so, and you have a pretty good chance of catching a bunch of them, which will delight your kids immensely.

3. Outfit your kids with the right fishing gear and tackle.

Don’t hand your 7-year-old your 7 ½-foot baitcasting rod for his first fishing trip – you’ll only be courting disaster. Instead, set him or her up with a 5- to 6-foot-long spincasting or spinning rig. And if your children are very young, consider simplifying things even more by giving them a cane pole. Tie a float and a cricket- or worm-baited hook to the end and help them find a good spot to cast – leave the spinnerbaits and Texas rigs for a future trip, once they’ve accumulated a bit of experience.

4. Provide the necessary creature comforts.

Kids don’t tolerate inclement weather, soaring temperatures or bug bites very well, so do everything you can to keep them comfortable while fishing. Dress them appropriately for the weather, lather them up in sunscreen and bug repellent, and have plenty of hot or cold drinks on hand, to help keep them comfortable in unpleasant weather. But, you can always let them run back inside the cabin if their mood sours; but don’t worry, they’ll come back out when you start catching fish.

5. Be sure to follow all relevant rules and regulations.

You don’t want to mar your kid’s first fishing experience with an unpleasant encounter with a game warden or Fish and Wildlife official, so you must make sure that you obtain a fishing license and familiarize yourself with the state regulations before hitting the water.

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Above all else, remember to keep a positive attitude and be ready to roll with the punches. If your kids decide they’d rather play with the crickets than use them for bait, let them. If your kids decide they’d rather explore the shoreline looking for pretty rocks, that’s OK too. Anything you can do to ensure they walk away from the experience with a smile on their face will help foment a positive association with fishing and will help foster a lifelong love of the sport. If you’d like to learn a few more tips for making your child’s first fishing trip a memorable one, head on over to Outdoor Empire and check out their comprehensive review of the topic.

About Heather Jones

I'm a coffee addict wife, "work at home mom", mother to two boys, blogging about the latest life hacks, recipes, DIY Projects and crazy "momisodes".

Heartfully Heather

 

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Heather Jones

I'm a coffee addict wife, "work at home mom", mother to two boys, blogging about the latest life hacks, recipes, DIY Projects and crazy "momisodes".

18 thoughts on “Taking Your Child Fishing

  1. I agree with your tips! We love taking our 5 boys fishing and they love it too! I definitely think there are some lasting memories made that will be with them forever.

  2. Start young! My hubby is basically a professional fisherman..in my eyes at least. He was raised on the water, so I knew my kids would be too. We started them fishing around 3-4yrs old and they LOVE it.

  3. Some of my best childhood memories are fishing trips with my grandpa. That’s the kind of stuff that stays with you!

  4. I used to be my Dad’s fishing buddy growing up and we joke about how I stopped because I always caught bigger fish than him. I don’t know why we stopped or why he stopped taking me, perhaps I grew old. Maybe I’ll have to go with him again soon, never too old to be your parent’s fishing buddy. It makes for fabulous bonding moments.

  5. I used to fish often as a child and early adult. My son has been out fishing every day that the sun is out this spring and some days when it’s raining lol. He loves it. I agree to follow all rules and laws which means a fishing license around here.

  6. When I was a child, my grandpa and uncle used to take me fishing all the time. It was something I will never forget. I can’t wait to take my girls fishing!

  7. My husband is an avid fisherman. Now it’s not an activity I really enjoy but he and the kids enjoy fishing together. He took my nephew fishing last year and it was his 1st time going fishing. He’ll remember this for a lifetime.

  8. MY husband used to take my daughter all of the time but as she got older she lost interest. She used to love pulling them out of the water.

  9. My Dad loves to fish but he never brought us to one. I know he will be happy to do it with his grandchildren now. Thanks for the tips!

  10. My daughters love to go fishing! I grew up going to the lake and rivers with my parents and friends. We spent quite a bit of time fishing and I really enjoy seeing my daughters enjoy those same experiences with their dad and grandfather. So much fun for the adults and the kiddos!

  11. I haven’t been fishing in many years. I think it would be a lot of fun to take our kids. I know my boys especially would have a blast!

  12. I wish I had gone fishing earlier in life. I’ve only been once and it’s to icky. Thanks for posting!

  13. Love going fishing and my son does as well. It can be pretty relaxing and my son understands, sometimes the fish are biting more than others. He seems to have some patience.

What are your thoughts?