Fishing with your family is just about the best way on planet Earth to enjoy a day of fun and smiles while bonding with the kids. When fishing with children, however, it’s important to take a few special considerations into account. The next time you take your kids fishing, ensure a great time is had by all with these 10 tips for fishing with kids.
Job number-one is obviously keeping everyone safe, which includes keeping the kids in life jackets. Invest in well-fitted life jackets that they won’t mind wearing.
It’s just too easy for those treble hooks to snag people as well as fish, and that sort of incident can ruin the day.
Sure, you and your adult fishing buddies may like to chase after the biggest lunker in the lake, but fishing for trophies usually means going for long stretches between bites. Kids have short attention spans and can lose interest quickly. So instead of hunting for Bubba, target quick biters like sunfish or crappie.
If you have a fishing boat it probably has a built-in kid’s entertainment device: the livewell. Fill it up with minnow or drop in a couple little sunfish you caught, and let the kids use it as a touch tank under careful adult supervision—a great way to also teach young kids to respectfully and gently handle aquatic life.
Pick your days according to the weather, and if it’s likely to be marginal, keep your powder dry for another opportunity. It’s too easy for a kid to be turned off to fishing by cold, wind, and rain, so don’t even risk it.
Bring along a big bag with plenty of the kid’s favorite snacks. Nothing keeps a kid on a boat happier than yummy snacks!
This is your chance to introduce the children to the natural environment and the creatures living in it. Engendering a love of nature will help them develop a close connection with it.
Too many young anglers start off with a cheap rod and reel that tangles up the line or breaks quickly, which can be extra frustrating for a kid with big fish ambitions. Look for something they can use for a few seasons should their first outing spark a new passion.
Take note of nearby beaches where they can go for a swim, bring along a tow-toy, or stash a kite aboard the boat. If the fish don’t cooperate and the kids start showing signs of boredom, switch activities to keep them occupied and try fishing again later.
Extended fishing trips run the risk of burning the kids out, and children tire quickly. As any parent can attest, a key part of avoiding melt-downs is limiting activities to an appropriate timeframe. Just what that is will vary by age and by child and you probably know better than anyone else how long your kids’ attention span is. So, adjust the schedule accordingly.
Above all else, whenever you take children fishing put the priority on having fun. As long as everyone has a smile on their face at the end of the day, they’ll want to come back for more.
Posted: Nov 8, 2022