As soon as we hit the beach for vacation last week, my kids started begging to go fishing. We headed over to the nearest pier, bought a rod and bait and got to work. They had a blast! They only caught a few fish (which we promptly threw back), but the experience was enough to get them HOOKED on fishing (I know, I’m hilarious)!
Once we got home, I purchased my fishing license online and we headed to the lake. We didn’t have any luck that day, but they are still asking to go back because fishing is fun!
Here are seven tips to get your family hooked on fishing:
- Don’t go crazy spending money on the rod or tackle. You can start your child off with an inexpensive and small rod and reel combo, a few hooks, tiny weights, a cork or bobber, and some bait. (Find a local bait shop that can advise you on what bait to buy!)
- Find the right spot. Don't have a boat? No problem. Find a spot on the water with a dock, pier, or even a grassy stretch of level land.
- Get your license. Each state has its own licensing requirements, but in most places, kids do not need a license to fish. Any adult accompanying them should have one though. Licenses are typically available at local bait shops and sporting goods stores. Some states also offer them online. Check your state's requirements to make sure you are in compliance before heading out!
- Be prepared. You'll want to bring sunscreen, bug spray, drinks, snacks, and a lawn chair.
- Don’t pressure the kids to catch a fish. Make the trip all about the chase. Say things like, “We are going to try to catch a fish.” or “Fishing is a great way to spend time together." This will make them less disappointed if you leave empty-handed.
- Have realistic expectations! Depending on your child's age, your fishing expeditions might not last long, especially if nothing is biting.
- Teach them to respect wildlife. If you are not going to eat the fish, please release them. Fishing for sport can be just as fun as fishing for dinner.
No matter what the outcome of your fishing trip, fishing is an amazing way for families to spend the day together outside while making memories and ... just maybe ... coming up with a whopper of a fish tale.