Monday, August 1, 2011

Hook Kids Into Fishing - Introduction

Bed time this past Saturday evening was highlighted by my four year old confidently pronouncing, "Daddy today was the bestest day evah!" Considering the achieved levels of decadence of his past birthday parties and how badly he was spoiled at Christmas, I considered this an extraordinarily bold statement. So, you might ask, what life altering event could be so incredibly spectacular as to spur my young son to utter such a statement? To the dedicated sportsmen, it should come as no surprise, that this proclamation came on the heels of his first day fishing.

If you have been a regular reader of the blog, you are sure to remember the lil man’s first ever fish that came about as a result of a long day ice fishing on Meddybemps Lake. Now, technically you could classify that as his first day fishing BUT to a four year old, this fleeting memory pales in comparison to catching aquatic critters with a rod and reel.

Casting and Retrieving:
At this point, both the four and three year old are fairly proficient in understanding the dynamics of casting and reeling, skills they were both taught soon after they began walking. Kids readily learn these introductory fishing skills, as long as parents take the time to provide instruction in a fun and supportive manner. Small “kid sized” rods and reels fit well tiny hands and short arms and are well worth the investment. With fun designs like Batman, Diego and Barbie your child is sure to go wild when they are unveiled. Even if your budget is more modest, have no worry that any kid will be entertained for hours with a stick having a bit of line attached to the end. Neither fishing nor the equipment for fishing needs to be complex for kids to become hooked. What is most important is the quality of time you spend with your child in these situations and how enthusiastic you are about being outside.

Practice sessions, casting and reeling in lures, are done absent of hooks, until kids develop the motor control to cast and retrieve effectively. Even then, parents will be wise to keep a watchful and vigilant eye on an exuberant youngsters back casts. Casting is made more enjoyable for kids when you tie a plastic bait (salamanders, worms, crayfish, fish, etc) onto the end of their line. The often wildly colorful lures and combined wiggling, jiggling action make it difficult for any kid to resist exhibiting strong interest.

Casting and retrieving on a lawn or driveway, affords a place for instruction that is readily accessible and free of some of the distractions found in more “fishy” situations. Parents need not worry about lures stuck in trees, on lake bottoms or anyone falling into the water. Start by having kids cast beyond a specific point, so they can increase their distance. As distance improves, have them cast lures into hula hoops to help them improve accuracy. With continued practice, 5 year old kids should be able, with guidance, to cast a hooked lure and reel in live fish, eels, mudpuppies, bullfrogs and anything else that manages to bite their hook.

For More On Fishing With Kids Check Out These Posts:

1. Hook Kids Into Fishing – Introduction

2. Hook Kids Into Fishing – Hooks and Lures

3. Hook Kids Into Fishing – Putting It All Together

4. Hook Kids Into Fishing – What If We Catch Something

6. Lil Man Catches First Fish


  1. Great post and great advice!

  2. Sanders, Thanks! Be sure to stay tuned as I have several more postings of kids and fishing through this week and next. Enjoy!


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