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Did you know that fishing with children can be a rewarding and enriching pastime? It teaches kids many different skills, including patience and hand-eye coordination. It also provides a wonderful opportunity to get back to nature.
Of course, introducing your kids to fishing requires a little know-how. Although fishing is a rewarding sport, it can feel frustrating to small anglers at first. Fortunately, there are ways to ensure your little ones come to enjoy this recreation, even when the fish aren't biting.
Check out these seven handy pointers to help you take your little anglers from frustrated to fantastic in no time.
What's our number one tip for teaching kids how to fish successfully? Selecting the right location. You'll need to decide whether you want to angle from the shore or head out in a boat.
The best way to start fishing with children is on a short drive and a quick hike to a fishing spot. After all, a day on a boat can feel overwhelming to children.
Remember that your goal is to introduce your kids to fishing, which should happen in baby steps over time. Fishing from the shore allows kids to slowly working into longer experiences. It also lets them take breaks where they can stretch and run around.
We recommend choosing the most shallow area possible for your first ventures. In these areas, you should be able to see plenty of tiny fish as well as insects and frogs. Going where the action is will excite and captivate your children.
You'll also avoid the hours-long wait typically associated with angling. After all, patience is a learned skill. So, don't expect your kids to have an abundance of it when they first start angling.
Consider your child's age when deciding how long a fishing outing should be. Prepare to leave when your kid's curiosity and interest begins to waver.
Don't feel like a failure if this happens within the first 30 minutes. For many kids, going much beyond this amount of time is too much.
Kids also tend to fidget and have trouble keeping quiet, particularly younger ones. Instead of assuming they aren't interested in the activity, keep fishing sessions brief. As your children grow and become more accustomed to the experience, you'll be able to head out on longer trips.
Before heading off on a child-friendly fishing expedition, make a list of everything you'll need. Don't forget the following items:
Since you're dealing with smaller children, you should also bring a few items that can keep little hands busy when it's time for a break. These include a notebook, crayons, and a few toys. Also, consider packing a small surprise or two to infuse the experience unexpected excitement.
What's another tip that makes angling more kid-friendly? Be sure to provide your children with easy-to-use tackle.
Start with simple poles specifically designed for kids. These shorter rods will prove more comfortable to manage, reducing frustration.
You must also bear in mind that small children will not be physically capable of fishing fundamentals such as:
As your kids practice and grow, they'll naturally mature into these skills. But for the time being, you'll need to handle these aspects of fishing. Check out this beginner's guide to tying a fish hook.
We also recommend securing their pole to the chair, dock, or boat using a shoelace. That way, when a fish bites, you've got added assurances your child won't let go of the rod, sending it to the depths of a waterway.
Fishing with kids likely isn't going to yield you the kind of river monster that Jeremy Wade regularly brings in. That said, the focus should be on fun rather than results.
You can make the experience more exciting for little ones by investing in a couple of posters or books about fishing and fish. Spend time with your kids reading these books and looking over these posters.
Make the topic of fishing one that comes up both when you're on the water and when you're at home. Talk about interesting facts like the difference between freshwater and saltwater fish.
You can also teach them about how to recognize certain species of fish. A visit to a local aquarium will fire up your kid's imagination and get them ready for future adventures.
When you get kids "hooked" on fishing at a young age, they'll soon be begging to head out on more extended expeditions. Before you know it, you'll be heading out on relaxed boat excursions that last for several hours.
Water accidents remain among the most deadly today. Especially for young children.
That's why you must also make safety a top priority. What are some safety tips when fishing with kids? For starters, always look for locations with stable ground.
When scoping out the best fishing lakes with small children, avoid areas with rocks and other hazards that could cause kids to slip into the water.
While you don't need to scare your children when it comes to water, they should be aware of the rules. When you make the jump to boating, this proves especially true.
Whether you're in a boat or near fast-moving water, children must always wear a life vest. You should also spend some time teaching your kids how to lower the rod carefully and keep it below their waistband line.
After handling fish, kids (and adults!) should always wash their hands. For this reason, we suggest bringing sanitary wipes or hand sanitiser along on each trip. Last but not least, wait to clean fish until you arrive back home. That way, your children won't be unsupervised while you're busy.
The seven tips above will ensure fishing with children is a safe and rewarding experience. When you focus on making the experience fun rather than results, you also set your children up to be lifelong anglers.
Are you ready to explore the options when it comes to kid-friendly fishing gear? We have the solutions you need for family-friendly angling. Find out how Hook-Eze makes fishing simple and fun.