Why you should take your kid fishing is obvious – it’s one of the best times to teach them about nature, provided of course you know a bit. But if you don’t, don’t fret or be discouraged – the trip will be an eye-opener for you and your kid, too. So, here goes, my two cents on taking your kid fishing.
Take your Kid Fishing when Planning for the Trip:
This could happen weeks earlier or on the eve of the planned trip. This when the bonding starts. You teach your kid about what to pack and more importantly, about proper handling of the fishing equipment – rods, hooks, knives and the likes.
It is also time to teach your kids how to tie hooks properly, how to handle a knife, how to dispose of excess fishing lines, etc, etc. This is a good opportunity for bonding and teaching your kid about safety when fishing. Kids learn fast, so make sure you show a good habit when teaching them about the various things connected to fishing.
They will be inquisitive too, so be prepared for questions and more questions. It will also be great fun taking your kids to tackle shops and checking out tackle equipment.
Don’t be too ambitious, choose fishing equipment that is suitable for your child’s age. Their initial enthusiasm may not last a month so don’t invest heavily and find out you have to throw all your have into the storeroom two months down the line.
Take Your Kid Fishing Time:
Before you start making the first cast, show your kid the right way to bait the hook, vast and wait for the strike. When you have struck fish, show them how to reel in the bounty. Kids like to reel in their own catch, so let them have some fun.
I have seen enthusiastic adults snatching the reel from their kids and reeling in the catch lest it gets away. So what if the fish gets away and your kid loses it? Fishing is not about landing fish every time. The joy it provides is when you manage to hook a fish and fight it. Who wins doesn’t matter really.
Once you have landed the fish, teach your kid about the fish and the danger signs to watch out for. Particularly, pay attention to poisonous fishes such as scats and rays, and teach your kids to watch out for the spikes and spines and steer clear of them.
Teach your kid how to dislodge the hooks and if your kid is younger than 15, dislodge the hook yourself. Don’t let them do it; they are just too young and enthusiastic to be wary of the dangers that come with it. Safer to do it for them.
Other things to consider when at the fishing site is to teach your kids about the dangers the environment pose and how they should keep themselves safe – such as steering clear of a casting fisherman, staying away from rocky ledges, not going into the water without first finding out how deep the water is, etc.
Take Your Kid Fishing and Give Rewards:
So you have caught a fish. If you know how to cook and the bounty is of eatable size, take it home. If not, release it. Teaching your kids to catch and release is a good thing as it develops good conservation habits – something the fishing fraternity will thank you for.
Small fish are probably too bony to eat anyway, with the exception of sandwhitings and small granters. Better go buy from the market than kill a small fish just to take it home and show off to the neighbors.
These are some of the tips I can share with you. Take your kid fishing. It is a good chance for you to bond and learn about Nature and teach your kid about the environment.