Taking Children on Their First Fishing Trip
Few memories last as long as those surrounding your first fishing trip ( family’s first RV trip maybe? ). You probably still remember the sights, sounds and smiles of the occasion vividly, and you probably look back on the outing fondly. Now, so many years later, it is time to introduce your children to angling.
You certainly don’t have to do anything fancy to introduce children to the sport, but it helps to have a good game plan in place.
After all, you may be introducing your children to a lifelong hobby, and you want to get started on the right foot.
Adult anglers often enjoy using the most complicated and nuanced tackle and presentations possible in pursuit of their quarry, but this is obviously not a good idea for youngsters. When fishing with kids, simplicity is the name of the game.
This means that it is best to use cane poles or spinning reels instead of bait-casting gear or other complicated systems.
You should probably start young children out by fishing with a bobber and live bait, instead of lures, which is more likely to become snagged on the bottom, and will take some skill to cast and retrieve properly.
Additionally, kids will often appreciate being able to see their float bounce and bob around in the water, rather than trying to use a submersible lure, which requires them to feel and interpret the location of the bait.
- A pole strung with lightweight (4- to 8-pound-test will suffice) fishing line. To this, you’ll need to attach a float or bobber, with a small hook (#8 to #12) tied to the end of the line.
- A live bait of your choice can then be threaded on the hook. Sometimes, you may need to attach a bit of split shot to the line between the bobber and the hook, to keep the bait from floating up in the water.
- Remember that your youngster may not be comfortable wielding a standard fishing pole, so consider using down-sized gear. This will make it easier for them to cast and retrieve their lure, as well as land any fish they manage to hook.
When you are heading out to fish with the kids, try to select a place that will suit them best.
Typically, this means a place with a long, open stretch of bank or a roomy dock; if you have access to a boat, you have more flexibility, but you still want to select a location that will work best for the kids.
Here are couple of other things to keep in mind when trying to choose the fishing spot:
1) Young anglers often have difficulty casting and they are likely to get their lures snagged on every object in the vicinity, so try to pick a wide-open location, without a lot of trees, rocks or weeds.
2) You also want to avoid crowded locations, to help ensure everyone stays safe and that your children won’t disturb other anglers.
3) Remember that children have short attention spans and fishing is an activity that requires patience. The best way to keep them focused on the task at hand it to catch fish; kids won’t enjoy staring at a float for very long unless they are getting nibbles. Accordingly, you should target easy-to-catch species and try to fish in locations that are full of them.
4) Finally, don’t forget that children will need easy access to a bathroom, and they’ll probably want drinks and snacks during the outing.
Refreshments are easy to bring from home, but you may have to do a little homework to find a suitable fishing location with nearby bathrooms. Small ponds at local ponds are often a good option, and these locations often provide easy fishing opportunities for the kids.