Welcome to the Take Over Tuesday guest post series. I will be featuring posts by fellow bloggers and outdoors enthusiasts. Do you have some expertise or a great story to share? Consider submitting something to the Humans of the Outdoors series or contacting me directly.
Today’s feature is from Adam of Cast For Fish. Fishing is in Adam’s blood – it has been around him for as long as he can remember, his grandfather and father were both avid fishers. They passed that passion on to him and ever since he was 9 years old, fishing has been his main hobby. To share his passion, he created Cast For Fish as an outlet where he can share his personal experience and knowledge with fellow fishermen.Though a relaxing hobby, fishing can be rather intimidating for beginners, due to all the different techniques, gear and such. Adam is not an expert but he does his best to share some information to help you get started.
10 Things You Should Know Before Fishing with Kids
With the spring and warm weather upon us, one of the many things we have to look forward to is fishing. While some people go fishing for food, others use fishing as a wonderful way to spend time outside with their families.
Fishing with kids may sound stressful but can actually be lots of fun. Here are 10 tips that will help you and the kids get the most out of your fishing excursions.
1. Simpler is sometimes better.
Your kids don’t know whether crappie tastes better than bass or what type of jig, hook or lure you need to catch these fish, and they probably don’t care.
Keep it simple and don’t complicate things for them. If you’re taking them fishing for the first time, try to pick a spot where you’re relatively sure they’ll catch some fish.
2. Safety comes first.
Making sure your fishing trip is safe involves more than just bringing along a First Aid kit, although, it is important to bring a First Aid kit just in case.
Make sure your kids wear properly fitted life jackets or U.S. Coast Guard-approved floatation devices whether they’re in a boat or standing on the shore. You may want to postpone fishing with kids in a boat until they’re more accustomed to the water.
3. Use kid-appropriate fishing gear.
Young children often have a difficult time casting and reeling a fishing pole. Consider getting your child a traditional bamboo pole with a simple hook and bobber or even try a telescopic one.
Forget about using sinkers and fancy jigs on their poles. Kids are fascinated with bobbers, watching them go up and down as the fish bite. This can also prevent them from becoming bored.
4. Kids always seem to be hungry.
Even if you’ve just finished lunch before you head out fishing, you can be sure that it won’t be long before your kids are hungry once again. In fact, don’t be surprised if they say they’re hungry or thirsty before you even reach your favorite fishing spot!
Pack a lunch for your fishing excursion. Bring a few snacks and don’t forget some water to keep everyone hydrated.
5. Watch the weather forecast.
Even though it seems the weathermen can seldom get it right, pay attention to the weather report on the off chance that he or she does get it right. You may believe fish bite better when it’s raining, but that doesn’t mean your kids are going to enjoy fishing in the rain.
If your kids don’t mind the rain, bring along a raincoat or similar rain gear. If you see lightning, get away from the water as quickly as possible. Your best bet, however, is to pick a nice sunny day to do your fishing.
Speaking of sunny… a hot humid day can be just as uncomfortable as a cold rainy day so watch the weather forecast and plan your fishing day accordingly.
6. Be prepared for the elements.
By elements, I mean more than just the weather, which I’ve already touched upon up above. Don’t forget to bring sunscreen and sunglasses. The sun can still get to you through a cloud cover and a cold wind, and you don’t want anyone to get sunburn.
Also, remember to bring bug repellent. Few things can make a young angler unhappy quicker than being chewed up by mosquitoes or other bugs. Being out on or near the lake miles from home is not where you want to discover your child has allergies to certain bugs. Expect the unexpected and bring along an extra set of clothes.
Expect the unexpected and bring along an extra set of clothes, too.
7. Make sure everyone is fully rested.
Your carefully laid plans can quickly go awry if you have tired and crabby kids. Whether it’s just you and your child or your entire family, make sure the kids are fully rested.
If your children are young, you may want to make sure they take naps shortly before you leave. It can make all the difference between a pleasant or unpleasant experience for all involved.
8. Your kids’ fears are real, at least to them.
When kids think of fishing, they probably envision casting or throwing their poles out and instantly catching fish. They seldom think in terms of putting on live worms and taking cold slimy fish off a hook. Don’t be surprised if these things frighten your kids.
In fact, expect them to be afraid and want you to do the dirty work for them. Even if your child wants to take the fish off the hook, help them so they aren’t cut from the hook or the fish itself.
9. Keep it short.
Even though you can easily fish all day, your kids probably aren’t going to want to fish that long, particularly if they’re young kids. In fact, I would bet that they will be ready to leave after an hour or so, especially if the fish aren’t biting or the conditions aren’t perfect.
Remember that your idea of a perfect fishing day is a lot different from your kids’ idea of a perfect day. Plan on fishing for one to two hours and be willing to make adjustments based on how the kids respond.
10. Keep your frustrations at bay.
If fishing is a relatively new experience for your kids, don’t be surprised if they don’t share your enthusiasm, at least in the beginning. A little boredom and a lot of questions are normal. Don’t let your frustrations show or it can put a damper on the day.
When they ask, “when can we go home?” consider leaving shortly thereafter. You don’t want your kids to dread going fishing in the future. The more pleasant the day is for your kids, the more they’re going to want to do it again.
At the time of your fishing trip, catching fish may seem to be the most important thing to you and your kids. However, it’s more important to have fun and make memories. Years later, when your kids are recalling their first, second or even third fishing trip with you, you don’t want them to remember it negatively because of bug bites, hungry stomachs or being wet from the rain. You want them to instantly remember the joy of catching their first “big one” while soaking up some sun.