Saturday, June 16, 2007

Take A Kid Fishing Day!

Its a lazy summer afternoon, and you're looking for something to do with the children in your life. Why not take them fishing? Many of us have childhood memories of fishing with our own parents or other adults. Whether those memories are positive or negative for us, we can use fishing to help make happy memories for today's generation of kids!
Some of the best things about fishing?
It doesn't cost much. All you really need is a fishing pole, some bait, and, in some areas, a fishing license.
Its a good way to get a kid talking! Sitting side by side, staring out at the water, with fishing poles in your hands, you and the kiddo in your life will be relaxed, and the pressure of being face-to-face will be off. Start shooting the breeze, and see where it takes you!
And, if the child enjoys fishing, it will be a hobby and a skill that he can keep with him for the rest of his life!
Here are some tips to get you started.
1. When you first start out fishing, go to a spot where you already know she'll have a pretty good chance of catching a fish. Setting a child up for success is a great way to capture their interest in any subject! (After they're "hooked," pardon the expression, you can make things more challenging!) Many towns have family fishing derbies, where a lake in a park is stocked with tons and tons of fish. A fishing derby can be a great start for your young fisherman!
2. Choose bait based on your child's interests. Some children will like the idea of digging for worms in the back yard the day before a fishing trip, or will even be satisfied with buying a tub of worms from the bait shop. Other kids may be grossed out by the idea of using worms. They might like to choose their own lures instead. Some people even use hot dogs as bate.
3. Some kids may enjoy it more if you go fishing in a boat, instead of off a dock. The boat ride adds some adventure to it!
4. More active kids may like to learn the casting method of fishing, instead of just still-fishing.
5. Give them lots of praise, especially when first starting out! Even if the child catches only tiny fish, make a big deal out of it! Don't demand perfection.
6. Use the time to teach kids about respect for nature! Clean up after yourselves,, and teach them why we throw back the fish that we are not going to eat.
7.If you're able to, take some of the fish home for lunch! Most fishing derbies and fishing places in parks are catch-and-release, but if you're fishing out in nature somewhere, it can be a source of fun and pride for a child to help gut, clean and cook their own fish!
8. Stay safe! Wear lifejackets, especially when in boats. Supervise the use of hooks, or just do it for the younger kids. Teach kids not to swing their poles around, and if they're going to use the casting method, make sure they give each other space and take a look around them before they cast!
For more tips about taking kids fishing, including a Fishing Derby Locator, check out the Kids All-American Fishing website!

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