Are you a lifelong angler, eager to introduce your children to your favorite pastime? Or are you just interested in getting the kids outside? In any case, the key to a successful fishing trip with children is to get them excited and keep them that way. By following a few simple rules, you can ensure the little ones have a blast on the water and clamor to go fishing again and again.
Build the Excitement
Kids are malleable. Sometimes, all it takes for them to think something is amazing is you repeatedly reaffirming the idea to them. Start talking about the “fun, awesome, totally-cool” fishing trip a few days in advance to get them properly stoked.
Choose a Good Location
Remember that the ideal fishing spot for a small child or a beginner is not the same as the perfect spot for a seasoned angler. There needs to be plenty of space for them to work in. Tangles will be unavoidable, but a calm, open area can help mitigate them. Ponds with calm waters are usually better than fast-flowing rivers or streams.
Think: Action, Action, Action
The idea with kids is not to break world records. What the little ones want is to see a bend in the rod and something with gills flopping on the end of the line. This should inform every aspect of your planning, from the spot you choose to the techniques you employ.
Use Live Bait
In the interest of producing bites, be sure to forego lures and opt for live bait. While casting plugs or plastic worms can be a fun challenge for an experienced angler, it does not usually maximize your chances for success. Lures also require repeated casting, which might keep a kid entertained but also increases the odds of frustrating tangles.
Make it a Fun Overall Experience
A successful catch is by far the best way to create excitement. On a bad day, however, you might get skunked despite all your best efforts. This is why it is so important to make the trip fun, fish or no fish. Encourage exploration in nature. If it’s safe, let the kids splash around. Take them out to ice cream after. Do whatever it takes to make their first time fishing an experience they’ll never forget.
This day and age, it seems children spend half their lives on the internet or watching television. As parents, it’s only natural you want to get your kids outside. Fishing is an excellent way to do just that, and by taking these steps to maximize the fun you can imbue your offspring with a wonderful lifelong passion.