Fishing With Children

By Jackie Vogen - April 1, 2008
Winter is now behind us, spring has finally sprung, and fishermen are making plans to hit the water to do some fishing. While making plans, here's something to think about. Have you given any thought about setting one day aside to introduce a child to the sport of fishing? For those of you who don't have children or grandchildren, I'm sure you can find a young relative or even a child in your neighborhood to take. The benefits and memories that are created are very rewarding for all. Not only are you starting a family tradition that will be handed down from one generation to the next, but this is an opportune time to spend quality time with a child. There are several things to keep in mind when planning a trip with young anglers. First and foremost, keep your plan simple, have patience and make this an exciting time for the child. Keep in mind that this day will be their special day, so don't plan on doing much fishing yourself. In fact, you might want to leave your own tackle at home and concentrate on teaching them. You'll be plenty busy baiting hooks, taking fish off and you'll probably have several tangles to contend with.

The most important thing to keep in mind is to make their fishing experience fun, interesting and safe. When fishing with young children, think small. With this in mind, they'll need their own fishing gear. Plan a trip together to your local fishing store. Young anglers have small hands and short arms, so they'll need their own rods. Let them pick out their favorite cartoon character rod and reel set, or better yet, a basic spin-cast outfit. By having the right size rod, this will make it easier for them to maneuver. They'll also need their own tackle box for their bobbers, hooks and weights.

A little preplanning will assure a successful outdoor experience for everyone involved. As permitted, try and keep young anglers involved in the planning process. Being involved will hold their interest and they'll look forward to their outing. Make it fun by bringing along a picnic lunch. Take a cooler with their favorite beverages and water, too. Include them in the trip to the grocery store and let them pick out some of their favorite food and snacks.

Bring proper clothing for the time of year you'll be fishing and bring extra clothes. One thing is for sure, you can count on them getting wet and dirty. Each child will need their own appropriate size life jacket, cap or visor and sunglasses. Don't forget to bring insect repellant, sunscreen and a first aid kit. To preserve the memories, bring along a camera to get some shots of them smiling as they're reeling in their fish. This is something neat to do with your children; start a photo album. The pictures and memories today can then be shared, and passed along to their children someday.

In the early stages of fishing with young anglers, I'd suggest fishing from shore or from a pier. As you already know, young children have a very short attention span. Therefore, don't be surprised if they get bored after fishing for only fifteen minutes. In order to keep them interested, young anglers will need to catch fish within a few casts. To maximize their chances of catching fish, I'd recommend fishing for bluegills set up on a simple slip bobber rig. Choice bait would be waxworms or small pieces of night crawlers. While baiting their hook, let them touch the worms. The excitement will start when they feel a tug at the end of their line, so have the camera ready as their faces light up.

As children get older, it's very important to continue to stay involved in their lives, and fishing affords you the opportunity to stay connected. Taking a teenager fishing is a wonderful way to spend quality time together, and they can learn more advanced fishing skills. A few years ago, I went fishing with a buddy of mine, Troy. We went out fishing in my boat and Troy caught some nice size bluegills. We had fun fishing and spending time together. Troy's father introduced him to the sport of fishing at the age of four. He started out by fishing for bluegills, but now, at age thirteen, his favorite specie is northerns. As Troy has gotten older, his fishing techniques have advanced. Recently, he shared a fantastic ice fishing experience with me. His father and uncle took him ice fishing for the day and I'm very proud to announce that he caught a 6-pound, 22-inch largemouth bass on a tip-up. Way to go, Troy!


A friend of mine, Tom, has been taking his grandson, Tom, fishing since he was only three years of age. Now at the age of sixteen, Tom is casting and catching like a pro. The two of them spend many hours out on the lake fishing together, laughing and making memories. They also enjoy taking fishing trips together. Tom is at the age when he wants to learn to safely operate a boat and what better way to learn than from his grandfather. One day soon, he'll be taking his grandfather out fishing.

Getting kids involved in the great outdoors is very rewarding. They'll be hooked for life. Preserve the future of the sport by teaching children at an early age. The knowledge and experiences that they learn today will instill the love of the sport in the next generation.

I Love what I'm learning and I'm learning what I Love to do. I LOVE TO FISH!

Author Jackie Vogen
Jackie Vogen
My name is Jackie Vogen "aka Redrose4u2" and I'm 50 years old. I live in New Lenox, Illinois. I've been married to my husband and best friend, Ken, for 31 years. We've raised two beautiful daughters, who are now grown up, and have left home. We've recently entered into a new stage in our life; we've become "empty nesters". This new independence has allowed me to discover my passion in life; I LOVE TO FISH! I'm what you would call a "Beginner Fisherwoman" or a "Novice". Besides fishing, I enjoy computers, gardening and photography. Through fishing and photography, I've been able to capture my thoughts, while surrounded in the beauty of the sport. I'm looking forward to sharing my passion with you!