*DISCLAIMER* Next time you send an email to a music site with an idea for a fishing-related article, please, just don't bother or we will actually publish it. All the best Chris. Big love, Third Outing
If you want to get children involved and in touch with nature, there’s no better way than fishing. Although children can be as temperamental as the fish biting, there are a few steps you can take to make these early trips more fun and enjoyable, if not just for the kids of for yourself as well.
Keeping it Short and Simple
If you are taking your children fishing for the very first time, or they are still new to it, then keeping the fishing trips to a half day maximum is ideal. Even this could be too long when you are showing your kids how to get started fishing. Children tend to lose their concentration after an hour so even half day might need to be broken up into chunks. If they are bored and they wish to run around and throw stones in the water, then you should let them do this before they decide to retake hold of their rod. The area where you go is also crucial and can include beaches which are great for when they are bored and wish to build a sandcastle or two, and then there are jetties and lakes. Any fishing from boats or kayaks should be left until much later because if your kid can’t run around, it will end up a real dampener.
Child-Friendly Gear and Equipment
Depending on the age of your kids will determine what type of equipment they can use. There’s no use handing them a full-sized rod and reel and expecting them to be able to cope because before you know it, it will be in the water. Many companies specialize in kid-specific fishing equipment. This can range from basic poles for the younger ones to rods and reels which are made smaller and cater for their smaller hands and strength. You should also explain the different lures and live baits etc. The last thing you want is a spinner smacking you in the back of the head. The bait you use for your kids can have an effect on them. Some might not like a work to be slid onto a hook. Frozen bait is ideal in this situation as is soft plastic options if your kids are capable of casting and using a reel. Bait which smells might be a turn off for them, so it is better to choose the safer options
The Perfect Spot
Fishermen like a challenge to catch the best fish. Unfortunately, kids don’t have this insight into what makes fishing such a great pastime. They want to catch fish almost immediately, so on the first few trips, you need to choose locations which do have plenty of easy to catch fish. Stocked pools are ideal and also tend to have the types of fish which are easier to catch such as Perch, Crappie, Panfish or Sunfish. If you have a bite before they do, you can ask your kid to help you reel the fish in. Once they feel the excitement of a kicking fish and then see you land it, they will be all the more excited to do it with their own rod.
Packing a Child-Friendly Picnic Lunch
This can be a deal breaker for kids, so you need to cater to their cravings. They do like to eat outdoors, and when by water. However, a couple of plain sandwiches just won’t do it. A heft picnic lunch which has all their favorites and maybe an odd treat they love, but they only get when fishing. Once they’ve had their fill of their favorite foods and snacks, they’ll love the idea of eating outdoors more often. After this, there is the stage when kids need to understand one of what they have caught might be their dinner. Making sure they are okay with eating a freshly caught fish is a good idea, so ask them if you should let it go or take it home for dinner.
Relaxing and Having Fun
Although you love fishing, this time is about making it fun for your kids even more than your enjoyment. You have the area set for plenty of biting fish and their favorite outdoor lunches packed, but that is only half the battle. Making a competition out of fishing can be a great way of holding their interest. If they know, they can win a game, and kids love games they will try their hardest to beat you at your own sport. It might be worth doing the things dads do all to often and cheat a little to make sure they do win more times than not.