Other than when you are in church, this may be a
time when you have never prayed more. "Please let Johnny catch a fish... Please
Please Please!" You wait, you detangle the line again, you explain
patience quite patiently again, and then as you raise your eyes to
heaven, it happens. "I got one! I got one! Hey I got a fish! I goottt oneeee!"
(Entrance of the Hallelujah chorus playing in your mind!)
Junior struggles. He pulls! He struggles some
more! He tells you he got one again. You remind him that he needs to turn back
around and reel in the fish. Here it comes, here it coommmmeesss.... WOW! A
three inch long fish, in all it's glory! You did it!!! Never has a fish been
so beautiful, and SO BIG! After several pictures and lots of admiration of this
beautiful fish, you take it off the hook and send it back to it's watery home.
But how do you do it? How do you actually help
your child to catch a fish? The weather may be less than perfect. The water
may be too warm. But your child is anxious and excited to go on the next
One of the biggest obstacles you will find when
fishing with children is actually finding a place where they have a chance of
catching a fish. If you have a boat (see
boating with children), you are halfway down the road
to success. If the fish aren't biting in one place, secure everything down and run to
the next! But for those without a boat, finding the right spot is half the
battle. Ideas? Call boat ramps, public parks with water, go online and find a
local fishing bulletin board, talk to fellow fishermen – even better, talk to
the people who run your local bait shop. You can gain a wealth of fishing
knowledge from locals who are out there all the time.
Google Square Ad
If you live near the ocean, you may consider
temporarily switching from bass fishing to salt water fishing. Pier fishing can
be a wonderful way to provide successful fishing for your children. It is not
uncommon to drop a line in with a nice piece of squid dangling from it and
within one minute – bam! – instant fish. Our latest pier fishing trip provided
immediate catches for the children – over 30 a child. The fish were aplenty
and smiles were non-stop.
Once you have decided on a spot, it is time to
pack up for your outing. It is a good idea to always keep a first aid kit
with you on all outings with your children. The second most important item
you should bring is food and drink. Yes, this comes before tackle -
because no matter how much fishing equipment you have, the minute your child
decides he or she is hungry, the trip is over if you aren't prepared.
Tackle, bait and rods are next. Spincaster
reels work very well with young children. These are the reels with the
"buttons" on them. Research where you are fishing first to see what bait
generally works best. Live worms and bobbers are always a good standard
bait, but fish are fickle, so bring several options. We have had fishing
trips where the fish gobbled up flank steak, canned corn, worms, squid, rooster
tails or plastic worms. The next trip to the same spot, the fish don't
like what we first used and will like something else. When you arrive,
take a moment to ask someone what they are biting on that day.
Speaking of tackle, another time saver is getting
everything ready before you leave on your trip. The minute your
children exit the car, they are jumping up and down ready for their rod.
They might lose interest watching you carefully tie your palomar knot.
Have everything rigged and ready to go. As a matter of fact, it is a good
idea to have two additional fishing rods ready, because if it can be tangled, a
child will tangle it. As soon as your child tangles up one, you will be
able to hand him or her another - something you will appreciate at that
You may wish to bring some other items to
entertain your children, for the moments they become bored with fishing.
Bubbles, frisbie, kites - anything to keep one entertained while the other is
still engrossed in fishing.
Click here for some general items you need when taking children fishing.
And don't forget your disposable camera for the
wonderful moment your child catches a fish! Finally, if he or she does NOT
catch a fish, teach your child the universal after-fishing motto, "Well, we
didn't catch any - but we had a great time!"