There are few things better, as a parent or grandparent, than spending some time fishing with a young one. Not only does it get them off the couch and into the great outdoors, it teaches them patience and provides them with a sense of accomplishment when they reel one in. Below you will find a few ways to make your children’s weekend fishing trip as enjoyable as possible.
Get Them Interested - Geoffrey Ratte recently did an interview with FOX news to promote a great resource for angler parents called the Fishing Kids program. It’s designed to get kids interested in fishing and strengthen their reading at the same time. You can check out www.fishingkids.com to find books, gear, toys and more.
Keep Them Interested – As much as they might be interested in fishing, kids tend to get distracted easily. Consider planning more than one activity for your day on the water. Perhaps fishing in the morning, followed by a picnic for lunch and some swimming in the afternoon. Keeping the day full of other activities will make them want to go “fishing” again.
Use the Proper Equipment – Ensure that you have simple equipment for children to use, which includes an ultra-lite pole with a spincasting reel. Use small hooks with small bobbers (slip bobbers are usually best).
License to Gill – It sounds straightforward, but make sure you have the proper fishing licenses and you are fishing legally (in most states, children 14 and under don’t require licenses but be sure to check the local laws). If you plan on eating your catch, make sure the fish are in season and that you abide by the size and number limits for that species.
Safety First – Teach your child about the importance of looking around before casting and wearing a lifejacket. Be sure to create a checklist and to pack the essentials such as sunscreen, hats, sweaters, sunglasses, snacks and water.
Set a Good Example – Lastly, make sure you teach your little one ethical angling behavior. What you do will have more of a lasting impression than what you say, so be sure to respect other boaters/anglers and the ecosystem.