Nevertheless, and perhaps more importantly, it's never too late to reclaim what once was with a good old fashioned redo. So this Spring, let's advocate for more quality family time that's uninterrupted by frivolous distractions. Let's teach our children to love the sport of fishing and not confuse them with proper techniques, or the difference between a spinnerbait and a crankbait, how-to run a trolling motor, etc. Once they get hooked and learn that fishing is fun, and they get a taste of what it's like to feel and fight a 3lbs Smallmouth, then, and only then, should they graduate to more advanced techniques.
So to ensure a young angler's success, I've prepared a few helpful tips that'll keep their interest piqued.
It's best to outfit all young anglers with reliable easy to use equipment that's appropriately sized. We recommend Zebco's Spincast Combo line of children's tackle because it's trouble free use allows them to focus on fishing, instead of dealing with line tangles and other frustrating matters. They have seven separate models available in their Spincast Combo line and they retail for $12.99.
To help them build confidence and anticipation for your big family fishing adventure, enlist your whole crew to practice their casts, once or twice a week, in your backyard. Ideally, you'd use a soft plastic practice plug or a light sinker that's readily available at Wal-Mart or your local bait shop. Growing up, in my home, we'd spend countless summer nights trying to cast into an empty five-gallon bucket. It was challenging, super fun, educational and it unknowingly taught me the importance of focus and control.
Catching fish is sort of a no brainer when you're on a fishing trip. However, for younger anglers quantity takes precedence over quality, and in this case, your children will always opt for reeling in panfish after panfish instead of holding out for that one giant lunker. So locating and scouting out stocked city or farm ponds is essential and if written permission is required, you'll want to secure that before heading out.
The Dos And Don'ts:
Do pack plenty of snacks, water, toilet paper, band aids, sunscreen and sanitizer. That's pretty much everything that your wife packs, in her purse, on a daily basis. In essence, prepare for a doomsday nuclear fallout and you should be good to go. Now for the don'ts. This fishing expedition isn't about you, or your glory days as a fisherman, so leave your pole and ego at home. Your role consists of baiting hooks, disposing of unwanted snapping turtles, taking photos, giving words of encouragement, and, ultimately, passing on a legacy that's rapidly fading away.
Use this time to create lifelong memories and to teach your children and their friends about the importance of the environment and why safe boating and fishing practices are a must. And remember, you can catch exceptional family time, catch lots of fun and catch a good dose of vitamin D, when you’re trying to catch a mess of fish.
Hugs, Handshakes and Happy Fishing.