Fishing With ChildrenBy Jackie Vogen - April 1, 2008
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.
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!