Last weekend I took my Grandson Joshua out to the San Joaquin River fishing. Whenever I take kids fishing I try to find ponds or slower parts of the river. That way if the little rascals fall in I can jump in and pull them out again without having the current whisk them away. If you put kids next to water I guarantee that it won’t be long before they fall in. It’s OK, because they dry out pretty quickly.
If there’s anything keeps a kid entertained while fishing, it’s having consistent action. Kids really don’t care what kind of fish they are catching. As long as they get lots of bites. There’s nothing like bobbers, worms or minnows, and lots of action to get kids hooked on fishing.
Years ago I belonged to Big Brothers of America, and took my Little Brother, Billy out fishing in a local drainage ditch. We caught dozens of small carp, but Billy didn’t mind at all. He was having a great time.
Another surefire way to keep kids’ appetite whetted for fishing excursions, is to bring along about twice as much food as you think you’ll need. It’s amazing how many apples, oranges, and assorted candy kids can consume when they’re fishing.
It’s scary how fast things change. One afternoon many years ago, my daughter Julie and I were driving to my favorite farm pond. Julie pointed toward a shiny metal object lying on the console of my van, and asked what that “funny thing” was. Who would ever have thought that the common metal beer opener given away free in every liquor store in America, would turn out to be an antique as obsolete as a button hook? Made me feel like an old fossil.
On almost every trip, there’s bound to be at least one thing you’ll forget. While you can get by without some items, take special care to always bring your camera. Kids grow up so fast, the last thing you want to forget is your camera (or smartphone),. The photos you take out fishing with kids will become priceless. In a few years those photos will become your most prized possessions. Don’t forget your camera!
One final bit of advice when taking kids fishing, is to take it easy on them. Don’t try having them make strenuous hikes until they’re old enough to handle it. Take your little ones to easy places at first to get them hooked on fishing. Once they’re old enough to become incurably addicted, you can psych them up for the longer trips. Josh and I were able to drive my truck within about 25 yards of the water. It was an easy walk back to the truck for more bait, food or sodas.
Observe the above simple guidelines and you’ll have the satisfaction of helping to create a new generation of anglers. I knew an old codger who tried those tricks on me and it still had me bugging him to go fishing 30 years later. Give it a try and you’ll never regret it.
Until Next Week,