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How To Teach Your Kid To Fish

Updated on May 27, 2013
Boys Fishing
Boys Fishing | Source

Fishing is not only fun, but it is extremely educational. So much so that I can’t imagine not teaching a child to fish, what a disservice that would be. Imagine taking your child to a small pond or stream on a warm, sunny, day. There is flora and fauna all around you. The fish are abundant and your child is having the time of their life catching bluegills, perch, brook trout, whatever the body of water contains. They are building dreams of catching huge fish while you are building memories of your time together. Sounds simple doesn’t it and it should be. Taking a child fishing should never be stressful. It should be an enjoyable time for you and your child.

The big question is how? How do you teach your child? What do you teach your child? So much depends upon your abilities. If you’ve never been fishing this can seem very daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be.

Keep It Simple

The fish don’t know whether you have a $10 cane pole or a $500 fly rod. In fact I prefer the former to the later. I learned with a cane pole on a small pond and I have taught my daughter the same way. Well at least with the same principal. I see so many parents spending money on Barbie fishing poles that their child can’t cast and just gets frustrated with. A simple can pole with a line, hook, float, and worm is such an easy way to allow your child to catch fish.

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Fishing Equipment

The equipment required should be cheap and easy to use. I bought my daughter a small tackle box with hooks, sinkers, and bobbers. And you guessed it a cane pole. You can buy a spin cast rod and reel, but plan on doing a lot of casting. Initially you want your child to enjoy catching fish so don’t pressure them with trying to cast their new rod.

Catch Some Fish!

The fun part about fishing is catching fish. There is no quicker way to turn a child away from fishing than to let them go home empty handed. Take your child to a small body of water that is loaded with pan fish. These are usually easy to catch and abundant! Don’t worry about your child’s inability to cast a line. You can do that for them. Don’t worry about your child’s aversion to baiting hooks. That’s why you are there. Just let them catch fish. And let them take a few home. Eating fish is good for them. You may have to look up a video on cleaning fish, but it’s not so bad.

Have Fun

If you’re not having fun your child will know it. Take a camera and ham it up. Kiss a fish! Cheer for them every time they catch a fish. Make this time memorable for both you and your child.

Teach Your Child

Eventually your child will want to cast their own pole, tie on their own hook, or maybe even bait their own hook! Teach them how at their own pace. Don’t force it. You want your child to enjoy fishing not to dread the idea of spending time on the water. Educating your child about the fish themselves is also a lot of fun. Now you may have to pick up a book or two, but teach your child the names of all the fish they catch. You can teach them about predator and prey fish. You can teach them the differences between cold water and warm water fish, saltwater and freshwater fish. You can teach them about the different aquatic plants and the plants that grow along the shoreline of the lake or stream. You can teach them about the types of birds that frequent the lake or stream. You can teach them about the macroinvertebrates that live in and around the water. The potential for teaching is limitless.

I would suggest picking up guides to fish, plants, birds, insects, reptiles, and amphibians. Talk with the naturalist at your states fish and game or department of natural resources. Quite often they will have these available. These are quite educational and will give you great information to share with your child.

Teaching your child to fish is a great opportunity for you and your child to bond. I’ll guarantee your child will never forget those times you spent with them on the water. I know I will always remember the times I spent with my father fishing for

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    • Randy M. profile image

      Randy McLaughlin 5 years ago from Liberia, Costa Rica

      I started with a cane pole. Both my grandfather and father were avid fishermen. My father was a bass tournament fisherman. When I first tried his casting reel, it was a disaster. Luckily he wasn't upset about it. I learned patience and had a lot of fun catching fish - when they were biting! It would be good if more people learned patience in this manner.

    • collegedad profile image

      collegedad 5 years ago from The Upper Peninsula

      Thanks TripleAMom! I know that learning to fish was one of the most important parts of my childhood. I'm thrilled that I get to share the experience with my Daughter.

    • TripleAMom profile image

      TripleAMom 5 years ago from Florida

      Love this. My husband is an avid fisherman and all of our kids know how to fish. We have a boat inherited from my father in law and take it out when we can. My 6 year old caught 10 fish last year on her first time out really trying for fish with her Daddy. What a fun past time. My 15 year old is just as avid as his dad. Thanks. Following you, love your topics.