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Take the Kids Fishing
Fishing can be very rewarding and educational for children. Here are some tips for taking them along.
- Be relaxed: As you head out the door, leave behind the tension and take along a smile, an open mind, and a lot of patience.
- Make it fun: Above all else, make the fishing trip fun and safe. Don't measure the success of the trip by the number or size of fish caught, but rather by having a fun, safe time outdoors. Praise children for their patience and cooperation.
- Make it a shore thing: Try giving a child their first few lessons at a local park, farm pond, or a lake with a dock or gentle shoreline where they can run and play when their attention span runs short. Knowing how to fish from shore will allow them to go on their own or with friends when they are old enough. If and when you progress to a boat, be sure to have the proper safety equipment for you and your youngster.
- Fish for little fish: Most kids prefer to catch lots of fish versus big fish. Start new anglers off on species that are plentiful and more easily caught, like sunfish or perch. Once the child has developed basic fishing skills, you can move on to larger pursuits.
- Start with the basics: Begin with simple equipment and bait. Use simple spincasting equipment, a bobber, and a hook with live bait, as it will work well for a variety of fish species. And be sure the equipment your child uses is in good working order to avoid any unnecessary frustration.
- Teach skills: People, regardless of their age, enjoy fishing more when they are in control and can do it themselves. Resist the temptation to do things for your children. If you are using live bait, teach them how to put it on the hook themselves. Teach them how to tie their hook onto their line and how to cast. On future trips, watch their skills, and their confidence, grow.