family camping

QUICK GUIDE TO FISHING WITH CHILDREN

Taking kids outdoors fishing is great for their health and wellbeing. It gets them far away from television and computer screens and teaches them an appreciation for nature. It’s also a fun way to squeeze in some quality family time.

The only barrier to a positive fishing experience with kids is that they typically have short attention spans. If they’re not feeling bites or catching fish quick smart, they’ll drift off and start scrambling around for an iPad or iPhone.

Here are a few tips on how to plan family fishing trips, catch more fish, and create an enjoyable experience for all.

SAFE AND SOUND

Choose accessible and safe fishing locations. Estuary banks, sandy lagoons, wharves, and freshwater lakes are great family friendly options. Focus your energy on catching fish and having fun rather than dealing with stressful or intense environments such as dangerous surf or rocky cliffs.

Throw life jackets on the kids for peace of mind, especially if they can’t swim. It’s a good idea to have your partner or another adult in attendance so that they can keep an eye on the kids while you focus on rigging gear and hooking fish.

PLAIN AND SIMPLE

Rig up simple fishing outfits for the kids to use. Cheap kids spinning rod combos are the perfect choice for general estuary fishing and handlines are ideal if you’re fishing from a wharf or pontoon. A simple hook, swivel and running ball sinker is an ideal rig and baits of prawns, worms, or squid are among the easiest to handle.

ANY FISH COUNTS

Keep in mind that you’re not out to break fishing records. Kids enjoy catching any fish of any size. The most important factor is that they experience bites and land a fish or two. Downsize your hooks and baits to increase your chances of hooking fish.

HOOK AND HANDOVER

The old hook-up and handover trick is a winning method for toddlers. Hook the fish and pass the rod to the little ones for them to wind in. They’ll be over the moon once they feel the fish kicking at the end of the line. This kind of excitement is what gets kids hooked on fishing, so apply the trick until they’re older or patient enough to fly solo.

BUCKET BROWSING

Always carry a bucket that can be filled with water. Kids will have endless fun watching bait, fish or marine creatures swimming in a bucket. Just be sure to abide by any fisheries regulations. Observing creatures in a bucket will also keep the kids busy while you try to get fish hooked onto the end of their lines.

GET THEM PUMPED!

Increase the excitement and drama verbally! Make the bites sound explosive and the battles tremendous and don’t forget to give the kids plenty of praise. Make them feel like they’ve achieved something remarkable and associate their fishing experiences with positive memories. This will keep them coming back for more!

Go from zero to hero with these simple and straightforward ideas. You’ll catch more fish, impress the kids, and help to create fond fishing experiences for the entire family. You may even help to develop the best fishing buddies you could ever have on the water.

 


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Peter Hollingsworth
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Peter has been fishing all around Australia since he was a boy. He loves camping, fishing and kayak fishing.