According to the Boating and Fishing Foundation, 83% of anglers were introduced to fishing as a child. There is no better way to have the kids in your life fall in love with the great outdoors than a fun-filled day fishing. In fact, if kids do not get introduced to fishing before the age of 12 they are likely to never try the sport. Celebrate August’s Family Fun Month by taking a kid fishing!
Follow these tips for a stress-free day fishing with the kids.
Tip #1 – Fish in micro increments. Kids under the age of 12 typically have an attention span of 10-15 minutes. When you take kids fishing, coaching them should be your primary focus. Plan for fun activities between short periods of fishing. Take along outdoor games, fishing themed coloring books or even their favorite electronics. If you expect them to sit patiently next to you while you put fish in the cooler, think again. However, over time and with fishing success, kids will get “hooked” and you will see those attention spans grow. This is good not just for fishing, but for a variety of tasks requiring focus (including homework). Yes! Fishing makes kids better students and turns them into life-long learners.
Tip #2 – Use your most proven methods. Be sure to take your kids fishing to your best-producing fishing spots. Make sure you gear them up with the easiest-to-use and most proven techniques and tackle. The goal here is to make sure your kids experience catching fish, not just hunting fish. For younger kids, you may need to bait their hook, set the hook, and even help them reel in their fish. My 9-year-old fishing buddy practically jumped out of the boat the first time he reeled one in; he was so afraid of that fish! At first, kids may not like touching fish, baiting the hook, and may struggle with setting the hook, casting, etc. Be patient and do not shame. Show by doing and most kids will want to emulate you! My little fishing buddy is now baiting his own hook, can cast on a dime, and is proudly taking selfies.
Tip #3 – Make gearing up a special treat. Kids love collecting stuff. As for many adult anglers (admit it you have way more gear than you need) much of the fun is in gearing up. However, do not buy the kids in your life everything they need on their first outing. Spread it out. Use gear as a special reward, gifts for birthdays and holidays, etc. Allow them to earn gear by sharing in chores or clean up before and after each fishing trip. Also, no need to buy brand new gear here. Hand-me-downs are great for helping kids fill their first tackle box. As you gift them a used lure, rod, reel, or other tackle, make sure you share something special about its history and use. You will be surprised at how quickly kids become fishing gear experts. They will be so proud to show and tell others about their gear! Check out this great kid filmed tackle box show & tell. If you film your kid’s tackle-box show & tell, be sure to share it on our Fishwithme.net Facebook page.
Have an awesome August Family Fun Month fishing with your kids!