Edited by Michael Stetz, Krystle, Eric, Nicole Willson and 20 others
This article is for anyone who has taken a child fishing, thinking it would be fun, and it turned out to be a disaster. Kids need action to keep their attention. This will show you how to catch enough fish to make it enjoyable for all.
1. Buy high-quality fishing equipment.
- Forget the cute, cheap, fishing rods that are sold for kids. They are usually too difficult to cast, and the line is usually cheap. You will spend more time untangling knots than actually fishing. It will be tempting to buy the Donald Duck rod, but skip it.
- Buy a good, ultra-light rod and reel. They come in five to six feet. Try to buy the shortest one you can, but not less than five feet.
- Buy a spool of good line. There are a lot on the market. Stren is recommended for its ease of casting and fewer tangles. Go for a two - four pound test.
- Buy a few torpedo style floats. There are some that are specially made for flies. Ask a clerk at your local tackle shop.
- Buy some flies that are made for fly fishing. Make sure they are for dry fly fishing. This means they will float. They make some sponge spiders that do really well, and some called "Pan Pops," too.
- Cut-up pieces of hot dog, cheese chunks, dough and corn kernels make perfect bait for squeamish little ones who don't want to handle worms, and bluegills love the meal! Don't say no if the little ones ask to bait their hook with a french fry from lunch; bluegill and catfish are especially keen on burger king french fries.
- Keep a pair of needle nose wire snips handy. Sometimes the fish will swallow the fly and you will have to clip the line (if you are releasing your fish it is very important to try to get the hook out without further injuring the fish, you want them to survive being released - however, if you cannot get the hook out, clip the line and the hook will dissolve over time).
- Try to purchase barbless flies, or mash down the barb with a pair of pliers or vice grips. This will make things so much easier when trying to release the fish, or to get it out of your child's skin, too!
- Practice catch and release, if you do not intend to eat the fish.
- Remember, kids don't necessarily care how big the fish is - they just want to catch fish.
- Empty clear pretzel containers found at most places like Sam's Club, Costco, etc., that hold about 2 gallons of water make a great holding tank so your kids can look at what they've caught.
- Always remember the age and maturity of the child. Hooks are sharp and need to be handled carefully. Remind children to keep an eye on their hook while casting, or they might hook someone's eye!
- Small amounts of lead have been shown to cause harm to kids. When buying gear, purchase lead free products.
- Be very careful near water of any depth, especially with young children. Always make them wear life jackets. Ensure enough adults are present to keep all children in sight.
- Fishing accidents can cause severe eye injuries. Always were protective eye glasses. Polarized lenses help you see the fish.