Family Time on the Water Can Be Quality Time

Family Time on the Water Can Be Quality Time

What do you consider quality time with your family? If you are like me there is nothing more rewarding than fishing, especially seeing that smile on your child’s face as you instill the love for the outdoors in them. Plus it is inexpensive and fun.

There are a number of things to keep in mind when taking children fishing to make it a happy outing for everyone involved and Fishing Northeast is here to help guide you on this journey.

Make it fun, be positive and cherish the time spent together outdoors, afterall, kids grow up fast. Don’t expect the rewards immediately, this is a long term investment – teach the child properly and in time you will be payed back when your child takes you fishing.

Below are some tips to make sure your first trip with your child is not your last.

GavinKeep the trip short – A younger child has a very short attention span. While a hot fish bite can be very exciting for both you and the child a slow bite can be very discouraging. Allow the child some freedom during slow times. Let them enjoy the outdoors, whether it be skipping rocks, swimming, playing on the beach or catching frogs – basically whatever keeps them happy.

Gavin2Simplicity – The use of short fishing poles with closed-face reels are the best choice. Bring a small tackle box that they can call their own. Load it with a few small bobber, a few small hooks and sinkers. Just the basics to get them started. Involve them in baiting their own hook. Many kids love worms so many will enjoy this part. If they are not the worm type of child then let them practice with plastic worms. Over time they will get used to the idea and will eventually start using real worms themselves.

Patience is KEY – Tangles will happen. If your children are like mine, there is no such thing as quiet time. Do not get frustrated with them no matter the issue. That is the biggest turn-off to a child. Keep the outing short – less than an hour for the beginners. End things on a cheerful note so nobody gets cranky – this will help set you on the way to having that lifelong fishing partner.

Keep them happy – Load up a cooler with some sammies, drinks and lots of snacks. Be sure to bring a rare treat that they usually don’t get. This will come in handy when a moment of frustration sets in and will help defuse the situation, keeping the child interested once again.

Gavin3Quantity over quality – You will keep your child’s interest if they are reeling in a bunch of stocked trout or sunnies and panfish rather than waiting on that 5 pound lunker to bite. Finding a well stocked pond or lake is essential. Keep your eyes open for your local fish and game departments event schedule. Many will have events that will teach your child and even you, the basics of fishing….and many will even provide loaner equipment at the event. Also, (currently Connecticut based with plans to move into other states) check out Fishing Northeast’s program Casting With Kids. FNE provides all equipment, bait, tackle, lunch and instruction to any child wishing to learn the basics of fishing. This program is free, equipment, bait, tackle and food courtesy of our Fishing CT members on Facebook, as well as many local businesses and tackle manufacturers from across the country.

Essentials – First aid kit, bug repellant and sunscreen. Be sure to be aware of all local laws and regulations – licenses for those who are required.

This is fishing, not catching – Remember that making memories is of importance here. Take the time to teach them what you know – talk about the birds, fish, bugs, trees – whatever your child finds interesting. Cherish the memories that you make – it is not about the size or number of fish you catch.

Do not forget the most important lesson to teach your child. LEAVE IT BETTER THAN YOU FOUND IT!!! – Pack out your garbage and have your child help. Find another trash and pack that out as well. This will help instill in your child the importance of carrying out what you brought in – teaching the future generation about the good fortunes that come from being good stewards of the land.


By Scott Garland

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