In the modern era where basically everything depends on technology, having an alternative and a chance to organize a family activity is pretty good. It is useful as you’ll not only teach your kid(s) how to fish, but you’ll also teach them how to be patient, how to think clearly, and how to react properly when the opportunity for reaction occurs, making it fun along the way.
To do that while maintaining safety levels unchanged and keep the experience pressure-free, you’ll need some advice and tips. Following these 10 steps will help you achieve that, so once you’re done with checking the last item off this list, you’ll know you’re ready to go and have some fun on the water and try to catch dinner!
1. Look And Find The Right Location
Remember, your primary goal is to catch the fish. So, to avoid possible sad faces and broken hearts because you came home empty-handed, make sure there are fish to be caught. This is recommended whether you’re planning to sail out with a boat or a kayak, or you plan to stay on a shore or to fish from a dock.
If you have a fishing club near you, you could ask them for advice, and if not, visit the local tackle shop, there you’ll get some help. Also, you could ask around about other possible information besides where to go, like suggestions on the most productive baits for the recommended place, what kind of license you need, and other fishing regulations questions. If possible, bring the kid with you, as they’ll start to learn other aspects of fishing, besides the activity itself.
2. Good Organization Is The Key
Once you start getting ready for your fishing trip, make a checklist. It will remove possible stress and the feel that you’ve forgotten something. Check your list at least twice – once as you pack your stuff and the second time an hour before you go.
- Fishing gear – fishing, of course, requires specific gear, and it is not possible without a fishing rod, hook, reel, baits, lures, nets, tackle boxes…
- Snacks – don’t forget, you’ll be spending a lot of time on the water, so it is a good idea to have something to eat within the hand reach.
- Drinks – same as with snacks, but even more important. Being surrounded by water but without the ability to drink it can be really stressful, and to avoid any problems and possible dehydration, bring enough water or some other drink with you. And also don’t forget to take the bottles with you when done fishing!
- Sunscreen – Fishing is an outdoor activity, so you’ll be exposed to the sun a lot. Even if it is not so hot outside, the sun could be tricky, so you should always have sunscreen with you as protection from its rays.
- Bug repellant – Fishing in a pond or a lake means there will be lots of flies and other bugs that could distract you, and also make the trip unpleasant. Visit the local tackle shop and get the best bug repellant before you hit the water. You’ll thank us later.
- Rain jackets – If you fish long enough, you’ll get caught by the rain, without any doubt. That’s why it is good to have a rain jacket ready, just in case. Remember, weather can be tricky, it could change rapidly, so don’t risk getting wet without the need.
- Hat – Same as sunscreen, a hat will protect your head from the sun, and will also make it easier to observe the environment, as you won’t have the sunshine directly to your eyes
- Sunglasses – When the sun is high, it can be a bit problematic to see under the water surface because of the color difference. Sunglasses will shade your view just enough to see a bit better what is going on under the surface. And they will also protect you from the suns’ reflection, which could cause serious damage to your eyes.
- First-aid kit – no matter how careful you are, accidents could still happen, especially when the hooks start flying around. Having a first-aid kit will do the trick if the injury is not so severe that you need to go to the hospital. And even then it can be helpful and let you regain control of the situation if something bad happens.
3. Don’t Forget About Safety, Not For A Second!
Having kids around the water could end up as a disaster if you don’t pay attention to all safety aspects, but the most important one is having a life jacket on. In case someone falls into the water, the life jacket will keep them afloat and make it easier to get them back to the boat or the shore. Another possible problem is hooks, which can be really harmful if not handled properly. They have barbs, so it is not smart giving them to kids, but you could use some of the devices that hide the hook within the bobber and make it safer when casting.
4. Discuss Your Plan And Talk About Tactics
All around the world, kids share the same characteristic – no matter of sex, age, place of birth, they are all, without any exception, curious. Try to explain to them the way a float works and how it moves when the fish bites. If you start casting jigs, tug on the line while the kid is holding the rod and simulate a hit. Show them how to set up the hook, but make sure to teach them to be patient, and to understand that it will take some time to learn how to do it properly.
5. Learning How To Hold The Rod
The first lesson your kid should master is the way of holding the rod. Remember to teach them to keep the rod in front of themselves, in a 9 to 11 o’clock position. Pay special attention to the grip. Carefully explain how does the reel handle works and turns, and in the end, what to do when the fish bites and how to react properly. When it happens, don’t be too harsh if they make mistake. Don’t forget, they came to the fishing trip to learn.
6. The Best Casting Technique For Kids
There are two casting options – overhead, used by professionals and experienced fishermen, and a sidearm cast, easier to control at first and more suitable for the kids and the beginners.
How To Perform A Sidearm Cast
Before the cast, check no one is in its way. Look around you, if the coast is clear, you’re free to cast. Bring the rod back while making sure it is above your waist. Swing the rod forward while you flick the wrist and release the line before the rod points at the target. Once it points to the target, stop.
Same as withholding the rod, the first few times, or even more, may not be successful, but the key lays in practice. The more they try, the better they’ll be, so encourage them whether they succeed right away or they fail. They’re certainly giving their best, so make them feel good because of that.
7. What Gear Is The Best Buy
We’ve already stated, this trip should be about learning the fishing techniques and all other things connected to this sport, and having equipment too complicated for the beginners can be more distracting than helpful. Simplicity here is your friend. Bait, bobber, and a lightweight rod could mean success. Also, get some quality spinning or spin-cast combo somewhere between 3’6″ and 5′. You’ll also need to spool the real, and the best choice is a 6-pound monofilament line.
8. Artificial Baits Are Better, For Now
To help the youngsters concentrate on the fishing itself, and not on playing with the worms or minnows you’ll use as bait, choose the artificial ones. They are durable, won’t spoil, and will do the trick. Rig them on a 1/32- to 1/8-ounce jig, although marabou or tinsel crappie jigs will do the job as well.
The most effective option for kids is a jig dangled under a small float, with an occasional twitch. If your kid shows the will to learn more, you can switch to slow reeling and hopping jig retrieve as a next step.
9. Learn The Kids How To Play And Land A Fish
This skill requires lots of patience. Teach your young students how to slowly and steadily, without any rush, play fish, and how to stop when the fish reaches the surface. Then, don’t do it all for them. If they want to try and land the fish by themselves, let them. But help them by giving them instructions on how to do it quickly. Also, if they need it, they should feel free enough to ask for help. When the process is done and the photos are taken, show them how to release the fish back into the water. Tell them not to simply drop it or throw it back into the water under any circumstances. Instead, slowly put it back and release it when the whole fish is under the water.
If you plan to use the fish for dinner, explain why, and also explain selective harvesting and why most of the fish is returned to the water.
10. Fun, Fun, Fun, And More Fun!
If you want your kids to come back for more, the fishing trip should be enjoyable and they should have fun. Don’t think about numbers, concentrate on the fun part. You’ll catch something for sure, but those memories you could create on your fishing trips are far more important than the biggest catch you could make.
And don’t forget the most important part – bring the camera with you! After all, you’d like to have something to show to your family and your friends when you get back home, don’t you?
Globo Surf Overview
Fishing is an activity that could provide you not just lifelong memories, but it could also be one of the bonding activities. Another important aspect of it is the fact that you’ll get the chance to teach kids about nature and show them the ways it works and how to respect it.
Whatever you do, don’t force it. If your kid asks you when it’s time to go home, wrap it up. An hour, or maybe a little bit more are enough to start with. Once they’re big enough, you’ll have something you’d be looking forward to together.