So glad to hear you and the kids had a day of fun. Together. Landing a fish is an art and a skill. When the fish jumps out of the water, this creates "slack" in the line which in turns gives the fish "moving room", and it then spits out the hook. When you get a bite, the first thing you want to make sure of is that you set the hook. This is done by picking up (easily) and evenly, the fishing pole and give it a little jerk back toward you. Then, if the fish is still on the hook make sure to keep the line tight. This is best done with the tip of the pole pointing up toward the sky while you are reeling the line in. If you see curls in the line, there is too much slack which lets the fish get off the hook. So, in short, set the hook, keep rod tip pointing toward the sky, evenly and not to fast reel the line in, the fish should follow. Hope this helps. Practice in this field leads to fun. (It can also be very addictive).