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Fishing with Kids: Teach Children to Fish

So you are going to take some kids fishing! Maybe they are yours, or those of a relative or friend. Either as an angler or interested adult, you want these kids to have fun.
 
Here are some common sense steps to follow:
  • Remember to make it a kid’s adventure. Consider whether you should concentrate only on fishing or whether it should be a more general outdoor aquatic experience– you might decide this based on the children’s age. Depending upon their age, allow time and give permission for wading in the water, skipping stones, catching frogs, floating sticks and leaves, playing ball, playing hide and seek, collecting wild flowers, or finding insects. Make it a fun adventure so they will want to go "fishing" again. If you wish, allow them to bring friends, but limit the friends and their number. Too many children on a fishing trip are difficult to control. Leave pets at home.
  • If you fish, review basic skills to be prepared. Check your tackle. Don’t take along expensive tackle or heirlooms that you do not want damaged. Be prepared for your new fishing buddies by bringing along extra hats and caps, extra clothing if it gets cool, sunscreen, sunglasses, snacks, drinks, and anything else you think of.
  • If you do not fish, check with the staff of a friendly tackle shop for some tips, tricks and places to go, or get started at TakeMeFishing.org. This site will provide places to fish and boat, community fishing events and local resources. Check with your state Fish and Game Agency for additional ideas and events.
  • When you fish, make sure that you have the proper license, and that you are fishing legally. If you are going to eat your catch, make sure that you are fishing in season and abide by the size and number limits for the species you catch.
  • Use simple tackle. Children who have not fished before will have the most fun and less tangles with spincast tackle. You will have the least problems in fixing or untangling their gear. Spincast tackle allows casting by releasing a thumb button on the reel.
 
HERE’S A CHECK LIST TO HELP YOU GET READY FOR YOUR FISHING TRIP:
 
  • Wear comfortable, appropriate clothing.
  • Bring sunglasses, sun screen and hats for sun protection.
  • Bring insect repellent and insect bite salve.
  • Include a small first aid kit
  • Bring enough appropriate tackle for each person fishing
  • If you plan to eat your catch, bring a cooler or stringer
  • Include bait that is easy to get and use – worms, grasshoppers, crickets, grubs, caterpillars
  • Include "picnic" food that is fun, such as snacks, fruit, sandwiches, and fruit drinks or water.
  • If possible, fish near home so that the trip does not exhaust everyone before the fishing fun.
  • Bring and wear life preservers (PFD’s) if necessary (as when fishing from a boat) as well as for small children or those wading or swimming.
  • Do not take too many children at any one time and make sure that a responsible adult is always watching the children.
 
Content provided by TakeMeFishing.org