Fishing along with your kids can be one of the most worthwhile, pleasing, and fun things you could do. However without the proper attitude it can also be one of the most frustrating, exacerbating, miserable stories both of you may have together. Bear in mind fishing and catching fish must take a back seat to spending more quality time with them in the outdoors, their desire to fish will come in time.
You have to go into fishing with a toddler with the expectation of not catching fish, but making them have a great time, and want to keep going since they have such a smaller attention span than us, and they can get very bored, very quickly. Make them laugh, and let them play! I can remember my dad telling us to stop throwing rocks in the lake because it was scaring the fish. Let them throw rocks and get the fundamentals of fishing down.
1. Keep it simple, silly
This is the most important tip of this article because you want to keep it simple, simple, simple. Dont make a production out of going fishing for the day because a toddler wont be able to process everything that is going on while you are getting your gear ready. Make a fishing trip a very fun simple thing by getting your stuff ready the night before. You should be able to wake up your child or children, pack the car, and head off to fish!
Bring some extra toys, and let them throw rocks in the water, it might scare the fish, but it will make them want to go more often with you, and get them in the habit of waking up early on the weekend to go for a ride to the lake. At this point, toddlers really do have a very low threshold for keeping their mind focused on one thing, and watching a fishing pole is going to be low on the list.
2. Keep it Short
Do not take your two-year-old out for a whole day, 1.5- to 2.5-hour increments seem to be all he/she can tolerate. They just cant sit there long enough to understand that fishing, even to catch one could take a whole day. There will be times when you go an hour or more without a bite. Take them out, let them fish for awhile, and then watch them run around and play.
Make it something that you wake up on Saturday and do with them for a couple of hours, so they can still come home and have fun. A good idea might be to take them fishing in the morning and stop by a park on the way home, or go get ice cream. I know lots of nicer small ponds that are kid friendly that have parks nearby, so that is a great option.
3. Use Polarized Sunglasses
I highly recommend getting kids some sunglasses if you are going to be taking them fishing in spring, or summer. The glare off the water can be horrible for their eyes, and make them not want to stand there. There are some cheaper options out there for kids, so it might be worth a few extra bucks to keep their eyes safe from the sun.
If you dont want to get polorized lenses, you can always go to a gas station, or a big retailer, and grab a kids pair off the rack and those should be just fine. Since you probably wont be going for hours and hours, its not going to be a huge impact on them.
4. Sunscreen is your best friend
This is one of the most important things I can stress to anyone wanting to go fish, and that is always wear sunscreen! I always have some spray sunscreen on me so my nose and face dont get burnt. Sometimes I even wear tank tops and this is a must have for fishing since you will be standing out there for hours in the sun. Even though it may seem cooler in the morning, the sun is still burning your skin, and children burn much easier than we do.
Make sure you reapply after an hour or two, or whenever you see your child playing in the water. Even waterproof sunscreen wears off, and they will start to burn super quick.
5. Ensure the weather is right
You do not need to head on a windy, overly hot/bloodless, or rainy day. I comprehend it feels like the not unusual experience, however, don’t drag your child along while it is blowing 30 mph only because you’ve got the fishing jones. You might break her expectancies on what it is all about for an excellent lengthy while, and be seeking to take her next time may not be as clean. Now, I am not saying it has to be the perfect day to fish, but it shouldnt be overly cold where they are shivering, or a deluge of rain coming down. If its overcast, or foggy, or even a little rainy, thats just fine, but make sure you pack some extra clothes because even hypothermia can happen in small children really fast.
6. Snacks, Snacks, Snacks…
This is going to be another important thing to think about when taking your toddler fishing. Always, and I mean always have plenty of snacks for them because when they get bored, it seems like they want to eat more. Pack fruits or crackers, and make sure there is plenty of water or drinks for them to have, especially if it gets hot. Nothing is worse than getting out to the lake and having your child cry all day because they are hungry, take it from me and save some of your hairline and just pack something, even if you have to pick a couple things up from the gas station on your way there, you will thank me for this tip!
7. Plan ahead
Always try to plan your trip a few days in advance at least. You dont have to make some extravagant fishing trip plans, but you at least want to know where you are going, and how long its going to take to get their. My kids hated long car rides, so if your spot is way out there, bring something for them to do in the car while you are driving, or all you are going to hear is “Are we there yet?”.
8. Teach protection first
I don’t think I want to inform you that infants aren’t equipped with sharp hooks and scaly fish. If your child is only a few years old, train them not to the touch the hooks, lures, and bait. This can be a very valuable lesson for kids because they see something shiny and want to play with it. The problem is most fishing tackle has very sharp hooks and barbs, and can kill your fishing trip if you are having to dig a hook out of a thumb or finger, and even worse, if you have to go to the hospital to get it removed.
9. Get the gear
Take your toddler out to your nearby sporting items store and let them browse for his or her rod and reel. It’s probably they will choose one with their favorite character on it, together with Scooby Doo or Little Mermaid. This lets them customize they enjoy establishing the door to fishing and encouraging a connection. They may have an appreciation for his or her reel, making it unique and significant.
10. Scout for location
Fishing means catching fish. Whether or not you propose to fish from a boat, shore or a dock, scout out locations wherein fish are plentiful. Make sure you take your kids fishing to a place you have already been, and know the area so you dont get them to a spot they cant get out of. The worst thing in the world is getting to your location and finding out its a steep hike down to the water. You dont want to have to carry both your fishing gear and your child back up a hill to the car.
11. Lighten your line
Keep their line under 6 pound test so that they arent trying to heave in a heavy lure. Keep it light and know their limits, or they are going to tell you their arms hurt and never want to fish again. I give my kids an ultra light rod with 4 pound test and havent really had any issues at all. If they do land a whopper, help them out, but remember to make sure they really do think they are doing it on their own.
If you get one of the all in one deals for cartoon spincast rod, they will already come pre-spooled with line, so you wont have to worry about anything, and you can just grab it and go. Plus they will love the different cartoon characters that they have, I can still remember my batman fishing rod.
12. Bag the large bobbers
I loved bobbers when I was a kid, and I think this is a great idea for fishing with young ones. This is going to give them something to watch and keep their excitement up when they see it start bobbing up and down. If you are fishing a big lake, they will watch the bobber go up and down with the waves and think its just awesome, I know I sure did. I love to get the red and white bobbers, but they also make a great neon orange one that is much easier for kids to spot. You can also put a bell on the end of their rod, so when a fish bites they can hear it and get excited to tell you.
13. Small hooks = massive catches
Use hook sizes 6 to ten (extent 6 is more significant than size 10). Fish gained conveniently take big hooks unless they are feeding like loopy. A diffused presentation is often had to trap cautious fish. Tiny hooks also allow small fish to “inhale” the bait, instead of nibble the worm off the hook. And the fish swallows the hook, and you want to return the fish to the water, indeed reduce the road as close to the hook as possible and launch the fish. For a safer catch, damage down the barb with pliers or use barbless hooks.
14. Play and land
Mastering to fish takes persistence. Coach children how to slowly and steadily play fish, stopping when the fish is on the water’s surface. Encourage children to independently land a fish, but let them know its okay to ask for help. Teach them that you cant just play with the fish because it might get hurt, and explain why you catch and release a fish back to the wild. If you are catching fish for dinner, try and explain to them the importance fish play in helping keep us well fed so we can live longer.
15. Talk, Talk, Talk
Fishing is a great way to just get away from the hustle and bustle at home that is always full of work and school. Take this awesome opportunity to just talk with your child and ask them how their school and friends are. I love taking my 6 year old fishing with me because he will just sit there and talk to me for hours about his Kindergarten class. Talk to your kids and let them know that you want to hear them, and it is going to make your fishing time an even closer bond with you, and make even better memories.
FISHING WITH YOUNGSTER (2-4)
At this age, your child is just running around, and playing with grass and flowers are more fun to them then watching their fishing line for a bite. Take it slow, and remember they dont have a huge attention span, so just try to get them to look at their line every once in awhile. Don’t sit there and make them watch their line because they just cant handle it.
OLDER YOUNGSTER (5 YEARS +)
As kids get older, their attention to things like fishing will become more active, and they will want to sit there and fish with you for a longer period of time. Use this time to show them casting, and let them reel in a fish if you get a bite on your line. Show them how much fun the sport can be and that sometimes, when the fish aren’t biting, its okay to play!
Taking your children fishing is just awesome, and can be a ton of fun! On the other hand, if you dont plan your day right, you could be in for a horrible day and a very upset child. Dont let your frustrations get you down if you arent catching any fish, remember that you are there for them and want them to have the best time possible and want to keep you going with you. If you follow some of these tips and tricks, your child is going to be at the door as soon as they see you pull your gear out every time.
Every child is different, and there is no one right age where your child will just “get it”. You have to be ready to coach and teach them, or both you and them will end up getting frustrated and never want to do it again. Fishing is fun! All my children love to fish and its because I taught them at a very young age that fishing is a run responsiblity and not a job.