Fishing is a fantastic pastime enjoyed by families across the globe. Fresh air, blue water, and a feeling of connection with nature are some of the things to looks forward to when spending a day shore fishing with your children. If you are planning to take your children fishing for the first time, read on for a list of considerations to take when planning for a day of fishing with the kids.
Choosing a Fishing Spot
One of the first things that you will need to do when preparing for your fishing trip is decide on where to fish. Depending upon the waterways in your area, streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, and oceans can all offer beginner-friendly fishing opportunities. Consult the counter person at your local bait shop or outdoor recreational outfitting supply store. Or check out travel or review websites for real people's opinions of different fishing spots in your area. State and national parks often have wonderful shore fishing opportunities. Just make sure that your fishing spot is on public land or that you have the approval of the landowner before setting out.
Bait and Tackle
There is a lot of expensive fishing gear available, but for a beginner the most basic requirements are a fishing pole with reel, line, and hook. A bobber is highly recommended for small children under most fishing conditions. The bobber keeps the fishhook from trailing on the bottom of the waterway, preventing it from becoming entangled in weeds. A bobber also provides a visual aid for your child to help them recognize when a fish is on their line. Bait is also required. Artificial lures can be complicated and expensive, and unless you use them properly are often ineffective when used by beginners. Plain old worms are pretty much always a hit with the fishes, and you can pick them up practically anywhere. If poking a worm with a hook isn't your thing, give canned sweet corn a try.
Things to Bring
In addition to fishing gear, there are a few other items that you should consider bringing along for the trip. Consider packing sunscreen, bug spray, and layers of clothing to adjust to weather conditions. Also bring a small tackle box of extra hooks, bobbers, and a pair of needle-nose pliers. Food and beverages, as hungry fishers are crabby fishers. And a big pack of wet wipes for slimy fish fingers. Don't forget to also bring a bag to pack away all of your garbage in so that you can take it with you when you go. Fisherpeople are always good stewards to the earth, and take trash with them when they leave.
When You Get There
When you get to your fishing location, there are a couple of considerations to take when setting up. First, trees. While casting your fishing line into a tree is an occasional inconvenience experienced by adults when fishing in areas of heavy foliage, your children will catch far more trees than fish if there is a low-hanging branch anywhere in your vicinity. This is not an exaggeration. If there is a branch, they will find it. Also, avoid casting into lily pads or other water with obviously heavy plant cover that reaches the surface of the water. While fish do love areas of heavy plant growth, dealing with repeated snags and tangles and losing of hooks is a surefire way to ruin the fishing experience for all.
What to Do if You Actually Catch a Fish
Now that you are finally ready to fish you probably have one last question. What do you do if your kid actually manages to catches a fish? First, grab the fish firmly so that it doesn't flop out of your hand, but be careful not to squeeze too hard. Use your needle-nosed pliers to grasp the stem of the hook, then gently twist and push, backing the hook out the same way it went in. Remember that the hook is barbed, and will injure the fish unnecessarily if too much force is used.
Fishing with your children is a fun and relaxing way to spend a day. These basic tips will go a long way towards setting you up for a successful fishing trip with your children. Consult with a local bait shop or fishing tackle supplier for further tips specific to your region.