Often times as adults, we want to share our hobbies and pastimes with our children. However, it can be difficult to decide when that pastime is appropriate. Children have shorter attention spans that make it difficult to calculate when they are ready for certain things. Fishing is a common hobby of many people around the world and many people are eager to introduce their children to fishing the minute they can hold a rod. Fishing is a lesson in patience for children and a structured way to teach them a sport that involves precision and safety.
When you take your child fishing, the most important thing to keep in mind is their safety. What kind of fishing are you trying to introduce? Are you thinking about a day of bottom fishing? Does pier fishing suit your needs? Are you going to go all out and take your child on a deep-sea fishing excursion?
Regardless of what you decide is best, you should have the basic safety essentials with you at all times. A first aid kit is mandatory; whenever kids are involved, accidents will happen. When it comes to fishing, children tend to get poked, scratched, and barbed, so you need to be prepared.
If you are going out into the sea and away from the shore, make sure that you have life jackets and that your child is wearing one even if they have no intention of getting in the water. Keep in mind your child’s abilities when it comes to swimming. If they aren’t strong swimmer, you may want to keep your boat docked.
Make sure to buy and stock your child’s tackle box. A child’s tackle box should be small and lightweight. There’s nothing complex about the contents. All a child needs are some pre-tied hooks, some bobbers, a couple of weights, swivels, and small scissors or fingernail clippers to cut their line.
Make sure to lead by example when you finally get out on the water. Teach them how to keep the line taut so that they will be able to respond properly if a fish bites their line. As soon as your child feels the bite, teach them how to set the hook. Tug back on the rod in order to firmly set the hook in the fish’s lip. Take time to help them learn specific techniques like ‘playing the fish’. Part of the fun of fishing is the struggle between the fisher and the fish, so make sure that your child has as full an experience as possible.
There are certain advantages to teaching your children while they’re young. Younger child have a greater absorption rate and a desire to soak up as much information as they can. Take the time that you and your child are sharing to educate them about catch and release regulations and fishing for food as opposed to pleasure. If your child decides that they want to let the fish they catch go, make sure you both know right way to release. Teach them how to clean their catch as well, but be careful not to overwhelm them with too many of the gory details.
As with everything else, there will be good days and bad days. Children have a tendency to not listen and to get bored quickly. Always remember that patience is the key. Repetition will also make your child more comfortable with the whole process.