When I met the girl of my dreams she came with a little boy who completely changed my life and let me pass on some of my outdoor knowledge.
The Rules to a Successful Trip
The most important thing to remember when you're taking a fishing trip that involves kids is to do things that entice them and are simple. Preferably, they should also be good sources of interaction and learning. We need to adjust our approaches to parenting in this regard to make sure we truly capture the hearts and minds of our young ones. Capturing them in a way that helps make them excited about the things that bring us joy. Here are three simple tips I've found successful to make a fishing trip with your child both a learning experience and a great time.
1. Make It Interactive and Gratifying
We have to ensure we are doing something that is both interactive and offers a quick level of gratification, at least to some degree. While you may be a veteran angler, realize that most kids are not. While the world needs more tackle boxes and fewer Xboxes, we have to recognize what will draw and keep their attention long enough for them to experience the joys of the hobby.
This is just as true for fishing. Kids who have never fished might get bored quickly about the entire process, not understanding the equipment or why it's taking so long to catch anything. The excitement of fishing can take a lot longer to get to than the excitement of a video game. Anticipating this, try to chase species such as bass, panfish, or stocked trout. These are easier quarries to guarantee a good and memorable experience for you and your kids.
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2. Remember the Weather
I can sit all day and night beside one of my favorite fishing holes in the rain, snow, sleet, or merciless heat of summer. But it doesn't matter if I enjoy it, that doesn't mean that I will drag my kid out to do the same. This is especially true for days when the weather isn't all sunshine and a mild breeze. Pick a day with good weather for your outings. Just as you wouldn't want to sit at the park while they play when it's stifling hot out or pouring rain, they won't want to sit idle next to a body of water in the same conditions at first!
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3. Make It Fun but Make It Quick
Most of the initial outings with my little dude were chasing easy quarry like spring crappie and the white bass out of a local lake. Just a few hours of fishing brought with it a lot of success and even more memories. While my little man will go out and sit on a boat for a chance at a decent walleye or some giant catfish now, this wasn't always the case.
Start short and gradually build the amount of time you are out. Maybe don't take them out on a boat at first, especially if getting the boat to the water is a whole endeavor in itself. If you can walk up, cast a line and hang out for a bit, it's much less of a commitment for your kid to stay interested and for you to make sure they're entertained. Remember when taking your kids, their comfort and enjoyment leads to your own. Nothing ruins a fun family outing quicker than screaming or whining kids.
When taking your kids fishing, remember these tips I recommend. Make it fun, ensure they catch something, and remember to keep it short! Soon you'll be in my shoes, getting woken up on your only day off with a tiny human begging you to take them fishing. Good luck and tight lines!
© 2022 Jeremy Richmond