Teaching your children how to fish can easily become an awesome adventure. It is best to teach them while they’re young, as people say, and with fishing as a sport, there’s no better time than the present to have your child hooked on your favorite pastime. To be successful in this endeavor, you will have to do your homework as a parent. This includes scouting for locations that promise a good catch. Children easily get bored and they really can’t stay put too long without getting a bite on their line, which would make the trip really unexciting. Ask for information from the local tackle shop, making sure to bring your children along so you can teach them by example what to ask, such as where to go and how to get there, about fishing licenses and regulations, among other matters.
Take the lead when organizing fishing gear in advance, to reduce stress. Make sure your child knows what items to pack including drinks and snack, water, sunscreen, insect repellant, a first-aid kit. Oh, and don’t forget to bring along good quality sunglasses for you and your child, fishing hats, rain jackets, quality fishing rods and reels or rod-and-reel combos, fishing line, baits and lures, a tackle bag or case, fishing pliers and scissors. Make sure your kid and you use premium quality fishing equipment from the onset.
Cheap gear is not worth the money you spend on it. If you want your child to really get into fishing, make sure to familiarize them with the right kind and quality of equipment that will last for many fishing seasons.
Teach your child the proper way of handling or gripping the rod. Show your young pupil how a float works and moves when they get a bite. Emphasize that it really takes time to learn, whether it’s setting the hook or holding the rod correctly. Teach your child to keep the rod in front of them in the proper position (9 to 11 o’clock), and how to turn the reel handle and react to a bite.
For safety, teach your child to use a sidearm cast and not an overhead one. Show them it’s important that there be no one in the way when they perform casting. Plenty of encouragement is the key to getting your child to learn the proper form and execution of moves.
Get a quality spincast or spinning combo, preferably from 3 feet 6 inches to five feet. Use a 6-pound monofilament line to spool the reel. Use a 1/32- to ⅛-ounce jig to rig the baits on, but you can also use tinsel crappie or marabou jigs. Go for minnow or worm soft-baits, which do not spoil. An effective way of engaging kids is to teach them a hopping jig or slow reeling retrieve.
Teach your young student that it takes patience to learn how to fish. Kids should learn how to steadily and slowly play the fish, and to stop when the fish gets to the surface. Although it pays to teach kids to quickly land a fish on their own, tell them that it’s fine to ask for help. Let your child also learn how to release the fish properly, as well as selective harvesting if the fish is to be eaten. Most importantly, remember that fishing with your child should be fun and stress-free. There is no pressure to catch a specific number of fish simply to ensure that the trip is a success every time.