I love taking kids fishing. To put them on fish and watch them light up when they get a hit is one of my greatest thrills. But to increase the odds of a successful outing, I have to do my “homework” by fishing alone ahead of time. If the weather is questionable or there have been some seasonal changes since our last trip, I’ll venture out on my own and try to learn as much as I can.
Here are some benefits of the solo trip:
1) Less pressure. When fishing alone, I don’t have to worry about a youngster losing patience if the fish aren’t biting. I can fish all day without catching fish. With kids, that clock is always ticking.
2) Braving the Elements. The same goes for having an abbreviated trip because of younger party members becoming cold, wet, tired, or hungry.
3) Stealth. Fewer shadows moving on the shore, dropping pliers in the boat, or skipping rocks, helps prevent spooking fish.
4) Experiment. With less pressure to catch something, I seem to have more time and patience to try new techniques. For example, I will work my way through not only casting different lures or bait rigs, but also altering depths, and drift rates.
5) Explore. Part of knowing where the fish are biting is to know where they aren’t biting. By eliminating water without cooperative fish, you have a better chance of assisting with a fishing memory and a delighted repeat “customer.”
Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad living in Pennsylvania. Visit him at www.justkeepreeling.com.