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Tips for Fishing With Small Children

You love to fish and your greatest desire is for your offspring to develop a love for it too.

This would create a common interest and an activity to enjoy together for years.

“Your expectation is not a part of the equation!”  Be aware of the child’s reactions. Read his body language.  He may not want to engage in the same activity as you.  Perhaps all he really wants is to net the fish that you catch or reel in one that you hooked!  Or maybe he wants to put the fish on the stringer or bait the hook. Maybe he just wants to hang out with you and enjoy the boat ride. Let him set the pace.  Over eagerness on your part may prompt him to agree just to please you.

Some pointers to keep in mind when planning the outing is to provide snacks and drinks, Children get cranky and unfocused when hungry and thirsty. Dehydration can occur quickly with ill effects.

Even on cloudy days, their skin is very sensitive and can burn easily.  Sunscreen should be rated at 50SPF and reapply it as directed, Protective clothing should also be considered  

A young child may not be able to get a good hookset. Using braid line has no stretch so a little jerk makes a big difference.  It can also be used with drop shot rigs.  Removing a hook with the string method is simple and relatively painless so is advantageous in the event of an accidental hooking.

Learning to cast seems daunting but very young children can learn. It does take coordination and maturity but don’t underestimate their abilities. At age two, purchase a spincast for them. They are available in familiar designs like SpongeBob Square Pants and Paw Patrol. Kids love to have their very own fishing rod!

Around age 5 they are able to hold and release line with their finger, so they can progress to spinning tackle.

By age 8, they can be introduced to casting equipment. Heavy monofilament line is easier to cope with when a backlash occurs.  A good way to avoid backlash is to crank the spool down fairly tight and use a heavy casting plug.  It is a good idea to practice in the backyard. Targets can be set up and make a game of it.

End the outing with a special treat.  As you are enjoying an ice cream treat, ask them what was their favorite experience of the day.  Help then organize their thoughts so they can relate the events to mom.  Focus on the positive even if they experienced negative things like rain, bug bites or skinned knees.  Help them see the beauty of nature and the value of time with loved ones.  Help them realize how learning new skills builds their confidence.  Create anticipation by planning another trip as soon as possible!