Are you about to take your child fishing? Especially if they are young, there’s a lot to consider. Fishing with your child can be both rewarding and frustrating. With a little thought and planning, though, you’ll have more fun with your child than anything else. Some great pictures and a unique Facebook post are sure to result too.
Here are a few considerations to tip the odds in your favor of having a great time with fewer frazzled moments.
Think Small and Often
Children have a limited attention span. Most adults would prefer to catch one large fish instead of 12 small ones. The opposite holds true for children. The more, the better.
If you can help your child hook into several large fish, you’re a rock star. But for the most part, you’re just looking for a place to drown some worms and dupe some minuscule, gullible fish. And hey, if your child’s a quarter of your size, a five-inch fish to you would seem like a 20 incher to them. That goes for candy bars too!
One of the best places to find a school of small fish is below a dam. You can almost always catch something. Many gamefish congregate there after moving up miles of a river.
Be sure to use small hooks so that the fish can get the bait in their mouth. Red worms below a bobber work great. You’ll want to get as close to the bottom as you can in most cases. Snags are a possibility, but you’ll catch more fish this way.
Arguably, the most beautiful and intriguing sight your child will see while fishing is the water. The very thing they feel drawn to most will also be their greatest danger.
No adventure or fish, no matter how great, is worth something terrible happening. Always remember to give the water you fish the respect it deserves. It’s essential that your child wears a life vest when fishing with you. Life vests are the most crucial in the following circumstances:
-When there is a current
-Water near the bank drops off quickly
-When the water is cold enough to cause hypothermia.
-When your child is wearing extra clothing (even if they can swim)
Keep a close eye on your child at all times. If you plan on bringing more than one small child, having an extra adult along is a good idea.
Take a Deep Breath
Mentally prepare yourself for situations that could test your patience. Tangled lines, emergency bathroom breaks, and snags are bound to happen. Decide beforehand that these things won’t upset you. It’ll make for a much better time for you and your child.
If your child associates fishing with you being angry, he or she will be less likely to want to go fishing with you next time. Keep your expectations low. If you want a longer, more complex fishing trip, leave your kids at home.
It’s important to remember that your child’s tolerance of outdoor elements is considerably lower than yours. If you become uncomfortable because of direct sunlight or cold weather, the chances are that they will feel it several times stronger than you do.
Here are some comfort items to keep in mind before leaving home:
-A hat (for cold or sun)
-Kid-safe bug repellant
-Appropriate clothing (extra layers for cold weather or a rain jacket)
-Diapers (If needed)
-Life Jacket (A comfortable one)
-Food and drinks
-Camera (It’s not comfort related, but don’t forget it!)
Check and double check what you need before leaving. Forgetting just one item could backfire later on. It’s best to initially plan for a short fishing trip. That way if your child wants to leave early, it won’t be so disappointing.
These tips will help to ensure that you have a wonderful time fishing with your child. Now get out there and build a memory. You know, the kind that when your child is older, they’ll still ask you, “remember when?”