If you are a regular angler, you know all about the benefits of fishing. But do your children? If not, this summer is the perfect time to teach them to fish. It will keep them busy and encourage good stewardship of our waterways.
Here are the basics to get started.
Equipment, Baits, and Licenses for Kids to Fish
They only need four pieces of equipment – a rod, reel, line, and hook. Depending on the age of your children, you may want to add bobbers and a sinker or two for the line. Many department stores and online retailers sell a complete kit for a reasonable price.
You will need nail clippers for line cutting, needle-nosed pliers for removing hooks from the fish, and sun safety equipment for both you and your children.
If you are on a boat, it’s essential to have the appropriate PFD for every person.
Live bait is popular. You can take the time to dig up worms or catch minnows or buy what you need at a bait shop.
Fishing license requirements vary from state to state. In Ohio, people 16+ years need a license.
Where to Fish
Ponds are a great place to get started for several reasons: 1) You and your kids can fish from the shoreline, 2) the waters are usually calm, and 3) Ponds have various species, including bluegill, bass, and perch.
Small lakes and shallow rivers are also fine choices.
They Caught One…Now What?
Nothing is quite as exciting as reeling a fish in! Once it is onshore or near the boat, you have two options: Release the catch or keep it. If you are planning on releasing it, be sure to hold the fish in the net or with your wet hands while removing the hook. Then, gently place the fish back into the water.
If you keep your catch, you need either keep it alive in a basket next to the boat or put the fish on ice if you are onshore. Once you are through fishing and everything is put away, clean your fish right away.
Be sure you know the limit on species, size, and how many fish you may keep before starting your adventure! You don’t want to overfish an area or keep fish that are too small.
Create a Fun Fishing Challenge
If you have multiple children or want to get friends and family involved in a contest, it could be a great way to introduce many kids to fishing.
Here’s a contest from Go Fish BC that’s particularly interesting.
- Everyone has to fish on five different waterways over the summer.
This can be fun on many levels – the kids can choose ponds, rivers, and lakes they want to fish. Some can be near while others farther away. The excitement of trying different places can keep them interested in fishing!
- When out fishing, they have to catch at least one fish and take a picture of them with their catch.
- Have a grand prize or many prizes. For those that complete the contest, offer a reasonably priced but valuable gift. If everyone agrees to only one winner, pull a random name among those that are eligible.
The point is that every child experiences different places for fishing and hopefully learns to love fishing as much as you do!
These Tips Brought to You by Sarasota Quality Products
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