10 Tips For Fishing With Kids
1. Fishing isn't just fishing.
Kids will need diversions. Fishing parents recommend that you plan other
activities for breaks from fishing. Swimming, playing with G.I. Joe action
figures, having a picnic on an island, watching a great blue heron.
2. Don't plan on fishing yourself. Especially if you're
outnumbered by kids, don't try to fish along with them. Concentrate on keeping
their rods rigged and baited.
3. Take snacks. This is mandatory. Take snacks that are
impervious to water, or that are wrapped individually so only one person's snack
gets wet at a time. Take a bag for the trash, too.
4. One if by land, two if by sea. You may want to fish from
shore rather than a boat, especially if the kids are very young. On shore, they
can dig in the dirt, throw rocks – yes, at the bobbers – make roads and
explore when the fish aren't biting.
5. The favorite target of adults anglers might not be best for
children. Walleye is not king. For grown-ups, maybe. But young kids don't have
the patience to wait for walleyes to bite. Choose waters that hold sunfish or
crappies or stocked trout, where the action is more consistent.
6. The lure of bait. Don't underestimate the appeal of worms,
minnows and leeches to kids. Include kids in the stop at the bait shop, a
fascinating place. Let 'em mess with the bait once you're fishing.
7. Take plenty of those pre-moistened wipes. See No. 3, above.
Where there are snacks – and worms and minnows – there are hands and faces
that require frequent cleaning.
8. Wear life jackets. Kids should wear life jackets, and
they'll wear them more willingly if they fit well. Life jackets should be worn
by kids fishing from shore, too, where the water is deep or there's a
significant drop from the shore or pier to the water.
9. The "possible" bag. Some parents keep this bag or
small duffel always packed for fishing, so it's ready to go. Into it goes
sunscreen, bug repellent, first-aid supplies – any of the little things it's
possible you'll need.
10. Enough is enough. Most parents limit fishing outings to
three or four hours for younger children. Sometimes even less. That's usually
plenty for kids, and there's no surer way to make kids dislike fishing than to
force them to stay longer than they want to.