Fishing can be a great outdoor sport for both kids and their parents. With fishing, you can enjoy quality time with your family, away from the nuisances of the modern world. As with most times, planning an outdoor activity with kids, especially if they are young, isn’t quite easy. If you don’t plan it properly, you might even find it more challenging than peaceful.
Tips To Go Fishing with Kids successfully
Here’s how you can enjoy fishing with kids:
Lower Your Expectations
Don’t go fishing with kids expecting it to be like it’s a movie. It isn’t. If your kids aren’t used to the outdoors, they might give you a hard time initially. Expect some irritations, even tantrums. But remember, the goal isn’t to get the biggest catch. The goal is to enjoy quality time with your kids and possibly help them get used to a new skill.
Take the Right Equipment
Find fishing gear that will be easy for your child to operate. Keep it simple. While a good gear helps improve your chances of catching fish, it might not be kid-friendly. Talk to the store owner when purchasing fishing equipment. Do tell him that you are taking your kids along.
Short rods are easier for kids to handle. You can even get some with cartoon characters imprinted on them. It will also help build up the excitement for the fishing trip.
Find a Good Spot
I would define a good spot as a place that isn’t too far from your home. Look for fishing spots near your home. It will be easier to drive to and fro from the place. You probably will also know nearby places in case you need to go back early. Plus, you don’t want to tire your kids with a long journey.
Look for a spot with a shallow waterline. With a shallow waterline, your kids might even be able to see a few fishes swimming around. This will fuel their excitement. Excited kids mean happy kids. And happy kids mean happy parents. Plus, it’s easier to catch fish in shallow waters.
If your kids are older, you can even consider renting a boat. As they grow used to fishing on boats, you might even want to finance a boat for future fishing trips.
Give Good Directions
Do you remember the first time you went on a fishing trip? Do you remember the frustration when you couldn’t get the hang of the whole fishing thing?
Keep this in mind when teaching your kid to fish. In the beginning, your child might only be able to hold the rod. You will have to do most of the legwork.
Start by hooking the worm. Even if you feel disgusted by the worm, don’t show your reactions to your children. It might scare them off or they won’t want to touch the worm even later on. Once the worm is hooked, hand over the rod to the child. Help him lower it into the water.
If you allow your child to hold the rod independently, attach it to an anchor through a light rope. This could be a tree or a boat. That’s because there is a good chance your child will let go of the rod when a fish bites the hook.
Bring along some other entertainment
I’m not saying bring along an iPad with you on your fishing trip, but keep in mind that fishing is a sport that requires much patience. You might have to sit in for a while before you catch a fish. While peace and calm is a welcome change for adults, children tend to get bored easily. Offer them a paper and a pencil. Ask them to draw the scenery. Take along some music. Do a running match.
Always keep an eye out for your children. Child safety is crucial when it comes to water. Children can drown in mere minutes while you are looking in the opposite direction.
Before you leave, give them thorough instructions. Explain to them that they are not to get too close to the water. Tell them to be always within their line of vision. Set this line of vision when you get to the fishing spot.
If you are on a boat, you might have to be extra vigilant. Kids get excited about seeing fish in the water. Or even looking at their reflection. Instruct them not to bend over too much. Life jackets are a must if you are going to go on a boat.
Remember to Have Fun!
Even if you don’t catch the biggest fish in the water, just catching a fish with kids is a big achievement. The goal is to have fun and enjoy time with your children. It doesn’t have to be perfect as long as you get to enjoy the task. Get your children’s feedback after the first trip. Hopefully, the first trip would mark the beginning of many others to come. Use their feedback to make the next experience even better.