I don’t remember the first time i caught a fish, but i do remember the endless afternoons spent with my grandfather throwing the line in the water, eating yummy sandwiches and listening to his fishing stories.
The day after Noah was born a good mate of ours, walked into the hospital ward with a fishing rod in his hand for Noah – maybe not the newborn baby present most expect but we loved it and we knew this was going to be a tool for great adventures in the future.
Fishing is almost a rite of passage for kids. Not only is it heaps of fun and a great way to spend quality time together, it helps them learn about the circle of life and how that relates to the food we eat. Casting a fishing rod, holding it and winding in a fish are skills which require concentration. It’s a great way to get outdoors, develop hand-eye coordination, patience and learn about caring for our environment.
Noah is now 3 years old and we have been going fishing pretty regularly and I have learnt some good lessons to succeed in our fishing micro adventures.
Here are 5 of my tips if you are willing to start fishing with your kiddo:
1 | Adjust your Expectations, Focus on your Child
I remember the first couple of times we went fishing, I was so pumped that we took all our fishing gear, rods, chairs, buckets you name it…
I quickly realised there was no point at all for that – I quickly understood that i needed to adjust my expectations and I couldn’t expect to be sitting, eating snacks while holding my rod with a 3 years old boy learning to fish.
Now I only take Noah’s fishing rod as I spend most of my time rigging up fishing lines, helping him cast out his line, checking the lures and untangling line.
So keep it simple and focus on your child.
2 | Gear: Lures, Line, and Sinker
Think simple. You don’t need a lot of gear when it comes to fishing with kids. And the gear that you need doesn’t have to be expensive. Children don’t need fancy gear, they need the right gear for them to succeed.
Get a simple pole designed specifically for little kids, they will be less frustrating for small hands.
We’ve tried using bait several times, but between Noah eating the bait and spending most of our time adding bait to the hook we have decided to now use lures and it’s brilliant! Let your child choose some lures!
3 | Pick the right location and stay safe
Look for stable ground and be aware of hazards such as rocks that children could slip on into the water. We often fish out of bridges or platforms too.
Talk to your child on how to stay safe and explain them the rules and your concerns if you have any. Things like lowering the rod and keeping it below the waist, make sure they have enough space around them before the cast.
4 | How to help them
It might be hard for your child to cast the line, and reel in the fish alone. With Noah, we help him cast the line (we use overhand, which means he still holds the rod and practices casting). You can also attach a sinker so your child can release the line straight into the water, this is usually great off the kayak.
For Noah, casting is one of his favourite things now, he loves to see how far his lure got too!
5 |Food Supplies
Every great fishing adventure has yummy snacks – pack a nice lunch box full of snacks for the whole family