Everything You Need to Know About Fishing With Kids
Do you remember the first time your father took you out fishing? Fishing trips provide some of the best and most cherished memories in a young kid’s life.
Before heading out for the first time on a fishing trip with your son or daughter, it is essential to be prepared and know what to expect. Although you may be a world-class fisherman, that does not mean that your child will be a natural right off the bat. It is vital to show patience and not get upset if your children are struggling with casting or afraid of touching the fish or worms. The main objective should be for your kid to have fun and want to go fishing again once the trip has ended. We have compiled a few tips to keep in mind on your first trip to help make your time on the water memorable and enjoyable.
Picking the Right Gear
When fishing with children, it is key to keep things simple. Although you may love using the new, top of the line equipment, your child should start with a “Beginner setup.” An example of a beginner setup would be a down-sized, 5-foot rod, paired with a Spincast reel, such as a Zebco 33. This fishing rod and reel combo are much easier to use and is easy to teach to a young fisherman.
On top of the rod and reel, you should probably start fishing with a bobber and live bait instead of artificial lures. Artificial lures can be tricky to work, while a hook and bobber are as straightforward as it gets. Plus, it is fun to watch the bobber bounce and bob on the water when a fish is nibbling at your bait!
Finding Your Fishing Hole
Make sure you keep the needs of your child or children in mind when picking your fishing spot. A fast-moving river is probably not an ideal body of water for your kid’s first fishing outing. Instead, look for a place that offers a long stretch of bank or a large dock and has minimal obstacles that your children could snag onto. Avoid fishing amongst large crowds, and if possible, try and fish a location that you know is stocked with fish that are easily catchable. A public pond that is filled with small bluegill would be a great spot to take your kid.
Much like the gear your child should be using, it is vital to stay elementary with your bait choice. Worms, hot dogs, and bread are all great baits for beginners. These baits attract all sorts of different types of fish, are not difficult to find or purchase, and can be placed on the end of a hook and bobber setup.
Make sure to bring some drinks and snacks from home with you because your child may get hungry when fishing with bread or hot dogs.
Fish to Target
All fish are fun to catch, but some species are more accessible to target than others. Species that are well-suited for younger anglers are panfish, channel catfish, and stocked trout.
Panfish, such as bluegill and sunfish, can be found in nearly every waterway imaginable. These fish can be caught all day, tend to be in schools, and will bite almost anything presented before them.
Catfish aren’t quite as easy to catch as panfish, but they are still very willing to bite just about anything at the end of your line. These fish put up a bit more of a fight, then panfish do and have children feeling as if they “Caught the big one.”
In the springtime, many lakes and ponds get stocked with rainbow trout. These trout are meant explicitly for younger anglers to catch. They tend to bite anything with a flashy presentation that can fit in their small mouths.
Under most circumstances, practicing “catch and release” is the way to go. Teach your children that protecting the fish and letting them grow is essential in maintaining healthy waterways and underwater ecosystems.
Now that you got the basics covered, you are good to go! Have fun, be safe, and create some awesome memories!