Taking kids fishing can be a ticklish situation, especially if the bait crickets escape enroute. Here are a few tips:
1) Protection. Be sure to bring sunscreen, bug-spray, life jackets, and appropriate clothes.
2) Snacks and drinks. A sure-fire way to get the fish to bite during any downtime is to break open the Cheetos.
3) Barbless hooks. Pinching the barb down with a pair of long-nosed pliers will not cost many lost fish. Plus, this makes the hook easier to remove from the fish and the occasional ear.
4) Live bait highly increases the chances of catching fish. However, try not to let them name the bait.
5) The spin-cast, push-button reel is the best starter reel. If the chance of use increases if it has Barbie’s face on a pink rod and reel combo, so be it.
A couple of Bassmaster Classic Champions had these words of advice taking kids fishing:
Alton Jones’ first tip was about the importance of good weather. Keep the battle of the elements to a minimum. “Scout the fishing places,” he added. Take a few trips ahead of time and locate the fish and what they seem to be feeding on. Also, he recommends keeping it brief and having a bucket of minnows or a fish or two in the live well to give them something to watch between bites.
Hank Parker has 4 sons and 11 grandchildren, but “learned the hard way” teaching them to fish. “Leave your rod at home,” he stressed. “Let it be all about them. Let it be fun. 5 minutes, then quit. Skip rocks.”
Like the old show business rule, “always leave them wanting more.” With a little planning, and a brief trip to the water hole, maybe you’ll get to hear those wonderful words, “When can we go fishing again?”
Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad living in Pennsylvania. Visit him at www.justkeepreeling.com.