Fishing on your own or with your buddies is a wholly different experience than fishing with your young children. The younger they are, the more patience you’ll need. There are many great lessons to teach while fishing such as how to be careful handling sharp hooks, how to be quiet, how to be patient, and even how to think like a fish.
- Find a patch of grass or safe parking lot beforehand to teach your kids to cast. Grab a few markers, put them at different distances, and see if they can hit them. It’s a fun start and will get them focused and excited very quickly. I started with a spincast reel combo. They’re easy to use.
- Choose your location based on the age/experience of your kids. Lazy Sunday vs. more difficult
- Place a few small weights about three to five inches above the hook if your bait will be light, just to help keep it down.
- I highly recommend using a bobber for the kids. It’s a great way to show them when fish are biting at the bait, and it gives them something to concentrate on.
- Cheese chunks work great as bait. They’re inexpensive and good for teaching the kids. Keep the chunks in your small cooler so it stays firm.
- Fish get startled easily; make sure your kids are quiet.
- Once they get a fish on the line, they are going to get excited, so tell them to be easy with reeling it in or the line will snap. Wait it out, and reel in slowly.
- I usually catch and release. If, however, I decide to bring the fish home, it’s imperative that I show the kids how to clean and filet them. It’s important for them to know where their food comes from. I promise you they’ll appreciate the life lesson.