TEACH YOUR KIDS TO FISH THE RIGHT WAY
My brother and I have a significant age gap. He was almost twenty when I was born. He had already left the family home and both our upbringings were markedly different. He is now approaching sixty, while I am still in middle age, and one of the differences that we frequently discuss is that I am the only one who shares our late father’s love for fishing.
Whenever we discuss this, we come to a similar conclusion. Our father taught us to fish in very different ways. My weekends were spent making fond memories out on the river with him tenderly showing me how to cast out or set up a rig. From the sounds of it, my father taught my brother in a very different way and he abandoned the sport almost as soon as he left the family home. In my experience are a set of principles that parents should keep in mind when teaching their children to fish to nurture the development of a life-long past time.
Take an interest in life outside fishing. It isn’t just time spent learning the finer details of the sport, it is also time spent away from the other parent and an opportunity to establish rapport between you and your child. Ask about other sports and interests and give them the opportunity to open up to you about other areas of their life.
INCLUDE THEM IN THE DECISION MAKING PROCESS
This isn’t just them coming along on your fishing day out. Let your child have an input on the decisions you are making. If they are not experienced enough to choose a line, hook or float, explain to them why you are choosing each hook, bait, lure or line. Explain why you are using a float and the mechanics of how it works. Explain how to set the hook. Demonstrate what it feels like when a fish tugs on the line. Children build hobbies through curiosity. The more you spark their imagination and build their curiosity, the more likely they are to fall in love with the sport.
USE CHILD SPECIFIC EQUIPMENT
Invest in a good combo for kids. They aren’t too expensive, and giving the child their own piece of equipment will help nurture their interest. You wouldn’t feel as drawn into a sport with a rubbish old rod that is too big for you to hold, so don’t try and get your kid into fishing with your old equipment.
Scout out a good location where you are sure to get lots of action. You and your fisho mates might be okay with spending all day on the water and only catching one or two fish, but children need stimulation and evidence that their efforts have not been wasted.
KEEP PRACTICE SESSIONS SHORT
Children’s attention spans are short. Don’t expect them to focus on one thing for more than 10-15 minutes. Teach them a bit of technique, let them practice it for themselves, then don’t be surprised if they run off to play with the dog or climb a tree. It is all part of the joy of being outdoors as a child, nurture it and encourage it, don’t stifle it by forcing them to sit and stare at a rod for hours on end.
Ignore bad casts and any mistakes, and positively praise good ones, they will soon get the hang of it. Be enthusiastic in your praise and get as excited as them when they catch a fish.
Keep it light and fun. The more your child enjoys their days spent with their mum or dad fishing, the more likely they will continue the sport. When I think back about my dad’s fishing lessons now, I don’t remember any of the technique, only the fun and enjoyment. That is what got me into the sport, not my ability to drop a 30-foot cast onto a specific target effectively.
Is there anything I have missed? Share with everyone below.