Fishing is a fun way to bond with your kids and create lasting memories in the great outdoors. While pregnant with my son, I remember worrying that becoming a parent might mean the end of my fishing adventures. But I quickly realized that fishing with my kids would enrich the experience even more. With a few adjustments, it's a passion I can share with them and enjoy together.
Preparing for a Day of Fishing with Kids
Prepping for a fishing day with kids is a bit more involved than prepping for a solo or couples' fishing trips. You have humans to take care of other than yourselves. In addition to the usual fishing gear, here are essential extras we like to bring along:
A well-stocked cooler with water, juice, lunch, and easy-to-grab snacks like grapes, carrots, blueberries, cheesesticks, crackers, and fruit snacks.
Hats, sunscreen, and sunglasses to protect from the sun.
Jackets and blankets in case the kids get cold.
A backpack for each child filled with entertainment options like books, toys, or games to keep them engaged during slow fishing times.
Swimsuits, towels, and beach toys in case we decide to switch gears and visit the sandbar or beach.
A camera or phone to capture memorable moments.
Fishing from Land vs. Fishing from a Boat with Kids
Fishing from land provides the advantage of accessibility, safety from elements, and access to restrooms. Kids also have more space to move around if fishing gets slow. On the other hand, fishing from a boat adds an exciting dimension to the adventure. Our kids love boat rides and being surrounded by water, which adds thrill to our fishing day.
When fishing with kids, having enough space for safety is crucial. Investing in a comfortable fishing boat has been a gamechanger for our family. Having reliable motors ensures a secure and enjoyable trip, especially when the weather changes. Remember to have all necessary safety gear, make sure everyone is wearing life jackets, and inform someone about your fishing plans and expected return time.
Getting Kids Started in Fishing
To make fishing enjoyable for kids, start by teaching them the basics, such as casting, retrieving, and reeling in a fish. Use simple setups like lightweight fishing rods with worms, jigheads, and bobbers. Be patient and encouraging, as it may take time for them to catch a fish. Celebrate their accomplishments to boost their confidence.
For younger kids, target easily catchable fish like sunfish to keep them engaged and excited. As they grow older and gain experience, introduce them to different fishing techniques and target more challenging fish.
House Rules for Fishing with Kids
Establishing some house rules enhances the fishing experience for everyone involved:
Assign age-appropriate tasks, such as baiting hooks or handling fish, to gradually increase their responsibilities.
Supervise casting to prevent any mishaps with fishing lines and hooks.
Ensure kids do not leave idle lines in the water to prevent tangles and keep them engaged.
Celebrate each catch with high-fives and a photo to make every catch special.
Other Tips for Fishing with Kids
Choose safe fishing spots that are well-protected from the elements or consider shore or dock fishing, or stick to familiar lakes.
Keep fishing time short, especially for younger kids, to avoid exhaustion and ensure an enjoyable experience.
Exposure is key; allow kids to handle fish and live bait to build their confidence and diminish fears.
Set realistic expectations; not every fishing trip will yield a catch, but the goal is to have fun and spend time together.
Fishing with kids offers more than just catching fish; it's about creating cherished memories, instilling a love for nature, and building patience and confidence in children. Embrace the adventure, make it fun, and enjoy the time spent with your little anglers. Fishing with kids is a lifetime journey that strengthens bonds and fosters a sense of stewardship towards our waters and the fish in it. So, pack your fishing gear, bring the family along, and head to the waters for memories in the making.