Fishing and Kids – A Winning Combination

By: Charles Kassotis

If you think taking kids fishing is simply too much trouble, you’ve never seen the incredible look of joy on a child’s face when he or she pulls in that “pumpkin seed” perch. It doesn’t have to take an entire weekend, it doesn’t have to be expensive, and it doesn’t have to end with trophy fish for the wall. All it does have to be is fun. Take a look at a few ideas to make a fun fishing trip with the youngsters in your life.

Start by taking the age of your kids into consideration. Plan a trip that’s age appropriate. You can’t expect your five year old to stand in water and cast a fly rod for several hours, but you probably can’t expect your fifteen year old to be content on a creek bank pulling in baby perch, either.

What to buy - If you’re going to have to buy fishing gear, you’re probably going to want to keep it really simple for the younger fishermen. There are some great child-sized rods and reels available that are perfect for little hands. While a larger rod may be easier to cast, those little arms are going to grow tired quickly when trying to balance that longer pole.

Where to go - Especially for younger fishermen, a creek, river or lake bank is fine. It’s less restrictive than a boat and there’s more opportunity to explore and play if fishing becomes tiresome. Keep time restraints in mind. If you have a very limited amount of time, keep it as close to home as possible.

What to take – Safety should be a priority. If you have youngsters or non-swimmers, take along lifejackets, even if you’re only going to fish from a shoreline. Make sure they’re worn when it’s appropriate. Don’t forget to take along something to drink and a snack if you’re planning to stay more than a hour or two.

What to fish with – The younger the fishermen, the more you need age appropriate gear. Bobbers are a good idea in some cases. It’s a way for you to help them tell if they’re getting a bite without constantly holding their fishing rods, and it’s a sure sign for them as well.

What to expect – The answer to this one is “not much.” Remember that you might be ready to sit in a boat all afternoon and never catch a single fish, but your little fisherman may not get that same joy. Catching a few small fish will mean the trip is a success for the youngsters, making them anxious to come back soon.

What to fish with – There’s absolutely nothing wrong with fishing with worms, and this may be the best solution for a fishing trip with a youngster. Worms tend to resist being torn from the hook with a single strike, meaning the kids have more chances to catch the fish that’s biting.

A fishing trip with the kids is likely to be anything but productive. You’re probably not going to be able to sit quietly in a boat waiting for the big one to hit, but the benefits are many – including an opportunity to spend quality time talking to your child and giving him or her an important memory.

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