Here is a list of my top 10 tips for fishing with kids from being patient, having fun, keeping it simple through to catching and releasing fish.
TOP 10 TIPS FOR FISHING WITH KIDS
1. Fun – It’s not about how many fish you bring home but the experience. If children become bored, play a game or go for a swim, remember they have a limited attention span.
2. Adventure – Planning the fishing trip can be half the fun. Talk about where you are going, what fish you might catch and read fishing books with your kids.
3. Praise and patience – The art of learning how to cast, wind and catch a fish can be a little frustrating for kids (and adults). Keep their confidence up and let them know how well they are doing. Try not to lose your cool, no matter how many mishaps there are.
4. Easy catch – Do your homework and pinpoint where the fish are prior to your trip. Children generally don’t care what type or how big a fish is, they just want to catch something.
5. Catch and release – Teach you kids to respect fish. If you are not going to eat it, release the fish and let your kids watch it swim away. Ensure you identify and measure all fish before you keep them and bring an esky with ice to store your catch properly.
6. Simplicity – The easier things are, the better it can be. Try to keep everything simple, don’t haul too much gear and use basic rigs and good equipment.
7. Independence - Let the kids do age-appropriate tasks such as putting on their own bait, cast their rod and tie knots. The more self sufficient they become, the more rewarding it is for them and the less you will have to do.
8. Practice – Set their rod up with an old lure with the hooks removed and let them practice casting in the back yard. When they get proficient, give them a target to aim at.
9. Camera – Take a photo of them with their fish or by the water. Kids can brag about their fishing trip and it’s a great reminder of how much fun they had and what they did.
10. Safety – Kids are extremely vulnerable around water so always watch what they are doing. Ensure they wear sunglasses, hats, put on sunscreen and stay hydrated. Crush barbs on hooks and keep knives out of reach