For you and your buddies, enjoying a day of fishing is easy. You just need some hungry fish.
But for young kids, a fun fishing adventure is often more complicated than that. To get your kids interested in fishing, there’s a good amount of thought and planning you need to put into it. Here are a few tips to help your kid become an angler for life.
Make sure your child is old enough to sit still for an hour or two before you take them fishing. If you try to force it too soon, they might instead get the impression that fishing is a boring chore and no fun. Every kid is different, but a good age to consider taking them fishing is around 6 or 7.
Remember that the goal is introducing your child to fishing, not getting you some fishing time with a kid there. Make the experience about them, and be ready to sacrifice your own fishing and call it quits when they are ready.
Kids are always hungry, so make sure to bring plenty of snacks and drinks. To add to the fun, bring some special treats they might not normally get to enjoy.
Wait for good weather. Maybe you don’t mind a chill in the air and a little drizzle on your fishing trips, but kids will. And if they’re uncomfortable, they won’t have a good time.
Don’t target any fish that are difficult to catch or anything that takes patience. Young children enjoy the thrill of just landing a fish, so any small fish will do. The finer details of hunting fish will come later.
Keep your fishing adventure brief. Kids have short attention spans, so they won’t want to be out fishing all day like you. Keep it to a couple of hours at most.
Stay local. Fishing close to home means less planning and fewer variables. And it gets your child home quicker so they can tell the rest of the family all about their adventure.
Use small hooks that allow small fish to take the whole bait. This will hopefully mean more bites and a more active, engaged experience for your young angler. Also, barbless hooks are a safer option around children.