You build lasting moments when fishing with kids. Some of my fondest memories are of me fishing with my dad. Just being outdoors with him, enjoying nature and catching fish. Even though he was very busy working 2 jobs to support our family he would always make time to take me fishing.
There are a few things to always remember when fishing with kids:
First and foremost, as a general rule kids have a pretty short attention span; If the fish aren’t biting or if the they are not casting and reeling, kids can become bored rather quickly.
Don’t plan on doing “Hard Core” fishing when there are kids involved. This is one of the best ways to get them turned off to fishing.
Make a fun day out of it, fish for some trout or bluegill, I’ll share some tips a little later.
You need to be willing to move if the fish are not biting in one spot. Don’t spend too much time at an unproductive spot. Even if you may know that there are fish there and he will eventually bite as soon as you figure out exactly what will trigger the basic “kill instinct” that all bass have.
When fishing with kids be sure to answer any and all questions they ask about fishing no matter how “Basic” they may seem to you. Chances are it is new to them. Kids are like sponges that willingly suck up as much information that they can especially about subjects they enjoy or are interested in.
Bring plenty of snacks as well as lunch. There is something about being outdoors that gives kids the munchies. Fruits, chips, crackers, beef jerky, sandwiches or fried chicken are always good choices. Just about anything will work. Remember to keep all foods “Finger” type foods for ease.
I remember dad used to bring those little cans of Vienna Sausages and as a kid I thought they were pretty tasty but now as an adult I wonder, “What was I thinking?” ha! Besides that, if your a “Label Reader” like I have recently become, their not very healthy.
Bring plenty of liquids, everything from water, to Gatorade to sodas or orange juice. Being outdoors anyone can get dehydrated. Make sure, even if you’re having the fishing day of your life, that Jr., as well as yourself, take the time to re-hydrate. It only takes a few seconds and it will be time well spent.
Bring a camera, the new combo Video/Photo camera’s are nice, especially the hands free ones, enable you to catch videos and stills to make memories last forever. The GoPro has a water tight housing so you can video as well as take pictures under water. Also bring along a measuring device, especially if you want to keep your catch, to ensure they are of legal length as well as to know just how big they are, and a scale to weigh their catch. You’ll want to be take pictures, as well as weigh and measure the fish, especially if you’re practicing catch and release. This way the memories will last a lifetime. You can also create photo gifts, calendars and books over at Photoworks.com for lasting keepsakes and gifts.
Explain the importance of catch and release of the big bass especially when it’s a natural resource vs. a stocked one, but make sure you at least keep a few fish so Jr. can taste his catch. It fuels the “Cave Man” instienct in all guys, ha!
ALWAYS bring sunscreen for obvious reasons. Pack insect repellant. A hat is always good as well as a thin long sleeved shirt, one that will breath to keep them cool as well as protect them from the suns direct rays. Recently they came out with Sun Armor but I’m not sure if I really like the look.
If you’re fishing with kids always be willing to fish for other, easier to catch, species of fish if the bass just don’t want to cooperate. Below are some basic tips for other species of fish, that in my personal experiences are easier to catch:
Use the lightest line possible, I really prefer Fluorocarbon, 4 pound test works well. Personally, I would not use anything higher that 6 pound. The lighter the line the harder it is for fish to see, the more natural your offering will appear.
Do NOT use bright floresent lines. If fishing with salmon eggs as bait completely cover the hook, I prefer to use a size 12 red salmon egg hook.
Go to the hatchery and get some of the trout food, crush it up and mix with the bait, you will be amazed how effective this trick is. Think about it, almost all of the California trout are hatchery raised, unless of course you’re up in the high country fishing for brown or Brooke trout with weedless hooks but that’s a totally different subject. Anyhow, Mr. Trout is swimming along and he smells the hatchery food and something in his mind tells him that its food, even if he is not hungry he just might eat your offering.
Another really effective tip is to use a clear casting bubble about 4-5 feet up your line with a size 12 or 14 single red salmon egg hook, with no weight whatsoever. The bubble will act as your weight so long distance casts are easily achieved.
On the single hook place 1 or 2 salmon eggs, cast it out and the egg will slowly sink, let it set and watch your bubble, if this is not working try a very slow retrieve.
Then there is always the paste or putty type baits, Berkley Powerbait, Sierra Gold, Zekes and a whole bunch of others. Me personally I prefer the Powerbait. As far as color goes they offer way to many colors as far as I’m concerned. I found that basically anything with yellow in it will produce but there are those that like the more “Creative Colors.” Bottom line, the choice is yours, there is no need to buy every color made but a couple different colors is a good option. Besides that, kids enjoy playing with this stuff.
Inflated worms, red worms or baby night crawlers, aka Dillys, will work. Then we always have the crayfish. These little fresh water lobsters can provide entertainment when the fish dont want to cooperate.
Then there is always Velvetta cheese, Marshmallows, corn and even peanut butter in cheese cloth. These items can also double as snacks if the fish dont want them. BTW, dont try this eating trick with any of the other baits I’ve mentioned, ha!
Remember, these are trout and there is no reason to deliver a bone crushing hookset like you would use for bass but a quick slight tug is needed to make sure you “Stick” him
Again use light line like I mentioned for the trout. Tie on a small Bait Holder Hook in a size 8 or 10, about 1 foot up the line put on one small split shot and about 1-2 foot up the line attach a bobber and put on a piece of night crawler. Kids love the visual thing, watching the bobber go under, unless of course it is far and few between on the bites and all they are watching is the bobber floating along.
Fishing with kids can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience for both you and them. If you catch fish or not during the trip, as long as you made it fun and enjoyable, you both will remember it for years to come.
Kids are our future. Do your best to keep the whole trip as fun and light as possible so they have a good time and learn to love the sport of fishing.
Get them “Hooked on Fishing Not Drugs!”
Until Next Time, Good Luck and Tight Lines to ya!
[tags]fishing with kids, bass fishing, fishing tips[/tags]