Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Hook Kids Into Fishing - Putting it All Together

This past weekend, I spent most of my day at the lake with the kiddos. During this relaxing session, I caught an exhausting limit of four and five year olds with rod and reel. While they certainly put up a good fight, I find that when lured by promises of marshmallows and hugs, all the thrashing ends pretty quickly and they are easy to net.

Kids absolutely love the game of pretending to be a caught fish and having you reel them in. It is also a great way for them to learn how to properly play a fish, set drag and hold a rod. These sessions are obviously done with hook less lures and in water that is relatively shallow to avoid accidents.

Fishing lingo, vernacular and jargon are often picked-up by sportsmen over a lifetime of pursuing fish. These words and catch phrases (no pun intended) are unique to the sport and when uttered for the first time by young kids, utterly adorable. Imagine a four year old telling you with a look on his face as serious as a heart attack that he thinks he just had a “dribble” and better reel in the line to see if it still has a worm.  If that doesn’t make you smile, how about picturing a five year old approaching a perfect stranger at the beach and asking “Hey Mistah, whatcha usein for bait?”

When you finally reach the point in your child’s fishing education, where the kiddos are having random conversations with other “rival” fishermen at boat launches, it is important that you sit them down and have a serious heart to heart talk about two of the most important aspect of fishing, secrets and exaggeration. In these ensuing conversations, children must be taught who can and cannot be trusted with fishing secrets and to whom and when it is perfectly acceptable to lie. For parents looking to speed up their child’s education, this might be a good time to also work in the “We don’t need to tell Momma everything” discussion. Speaking of secrets, I almost rolled off the dock when my 5 year old brought his mouth close to my ear and in a low whisper said, "Daddy, I have a fishing secret, you haftah be careful when your fishing to be quite so you don't scare away the fish". This was funny, because it wasn’t something that I had ever directly taught him but rather was most likely garnered from our quiet interactions at the lake.

Whenever possible ensure that your time fishing is enjoyable. Don’t expect every second to be perfect but make sure you are creating a scenario that kids will want to return to again and again. If something unexpected occurs (like someone gets hooked or falls off the dock) at least make sure to salvage the day with a trip to get ice cream or a hot coco. The trick is to always end on a good note AND while the kiddos are still wanting more. If they start screaming and crying when you tell them its time to go home, you have done your due diligence.

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. I can confirm, via my friends' kids, that a 5 year old will sell you down the river in a heartbeat, so the "don't tell mommy eeeeevery little thing" part does come into play!

  2. RM, It certainly is a lesson that must be learned over time and continually enforced. Hopefully, by the time they are old enough to be invited to deer camp this skill has been perfected, for there are many things that occur at deer camp that mommas should never know!! :)


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