Every fishing or boating show likes to include something for the kids. Often this is in the form of a hands-on casting booth where the target may be a giant inflatable fish mouth. These booths always have a long line.
This fun can continue in the yard, where you do not have to stand in line. “Backyard Bass” is a game example consisting of three flat, plastic fish. A rubber casting plug “catches” the fish when the line is retrieved at an angle that snags the plug through a slit near the fish head.
Whether at home or on vacation, chances are you can pair some fishing gear with a hula-hoop, Frisbee, or bucket and create your own casting contest kit. If you do not have a casting plug, remove the hooks off the split rings of an old lure or clip off a hook, with any remnant safely buried in soft plastic. Pitch, flip, cast overhead, or even set the target under a picnic table (vacant!) and try “skipping,” with a side-arm cast, just as you might have to master for casting under a dock or pier. Then, try the contest again with different reel types. (spin-cast, spinning, bait caster, or fly-fishing)
These games serve as a fun way to learn a variety of casts. Kids will gain the accuracy, timing, and control of lures that will result in time that is more efficient on the water. With a little practice, the kids may even beat you in yard fishing.
Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad living in Pennsylvania. Visit him at www.justkeepreeling.com.