April 27, 2009
Filed under Camping News

Facebook Twitter Email Pinterest

If you are introducing a youngster to the idea of fishing for the first time there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure the experience is enjoyable, rewarding and worth repeating.

• Keep it short and simple. Limit the first fishing experience to a couple of hours. Kids have limited attention spans especially younger ones. Instead of fishing from a boat, bank fish on a pond or small lake. This way, if the fish aren’t biting, kids are not stuck in a boat and can do other things like explore, swim or picnic.

• Select a spot that will ensure fish are caught. If young kids catch a fish they are more apt to get ‘hooked’ on the sport. Go to a small pond that has been stocked with game fish or a dock where plenty of bluegill and crappie hang out. Check with your local conservation or Department of Natural Resources office for locations. And the key is to have the kids fish—not the adult.

• Bait and gear should be simple too. For me, digging for worms was as much a part of the thrill of going fishing as anything else. Kids can still dig their own or you can take them to the bait shop so they can pick out their own and learn about worms and minnows as well. Gear can be anything from a bamboo pole, line and hook to the simple $20 spincast rod and reel combo like the Bass Pro Shops TinyLite™ offered on their website www.basspro.com.

• Don’t forget safety! Be sure youngsters are outfitted with a properly fitting life vest anytime they are around water. Stearns has a nice selection of life vests and jackets for kids like the new On The Edge Protek Child Life Vests for $14.99 available on their website www.stearnslifevests.com. Also, take a snack, plenty of water, band aids, sunscreen and insect repellant.

• Finally, this is the perfect time to teach simple conservation messages. Even young children can be taught some important lessons about the earth around them. Teach them the concept of ‘catch and release’, picking up litter and cleaning up after themselves, and even water quality.

In addition to the tips above, Edwin Evers, 8-time Bassmaster Classic Qualifier and Bass Pro Shops National Pro Staffer offers his own advice on how to make sure your kid’s first fishing trip is a big success.

“I would stress to choose lures that are simple and fairly snag proof. A lot of kids don’t have the patience to sit and watch a bobber. They want to cast the whole time. With that said a small spinnerbait chartreuse and white like the lazer eye with willow leaf blades is a great bait to cast and retrieve and will catch a bass in any pond in the U.S. Another great bait is the Bass Pro Humpin’ Toad. This is a little more complex in how it needs to be rigged but is completely weedless. Works great on those ponds that have scum on top of them.”

“Rig it with a XPS Magna super lock hook 5/0 and cast it as far as possible and real it back in at a steady retrieve right on top of the water. The bites on this bait are as explosive as a topwater bait can be and will have the child hooked on fishing for life. Best colors are green pumpkinseed/pearl belly and smokin’ toad.”

“One other great bait that I vividly remember as the lure that caught my first few bass, was a buzzbait like the Buzz Master buzzbait. This is a great lure for a beginner, easy to throw and easy to work as long as it is on top of the water you are working it right. Also this lure gives you the visual strike just like the toad mentioned earlier. There is something about seeing a fish inhale your lure as it comes across the water.”

“Other ideas would be to get a spincast reel or a spinning reel—easier for a first timer.”


Feel free to leave a comment...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!