If we want to keep part of America in its natural state, we need to teach the next generation about the value of nature and wilderness.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to take kids hunting and fishing. The beauty of taking kids fishing is that you can start this at a fairly young age.
Taking Kids Fishing
There is something very satisfying about seeing a child’s face light up when they catch their first fish — even if it turns out to be in the minnow class!
A successful fishing trip is actually a juggling act! The trick is to teach youngsters the safety they need to know while engaging them in the fun of fishing. This isn’t nearly as easy as it sounds!
The Safety They Need to Know
First, decide what young anglers need to know. Most kids look at the waters of a lake or stream as “wet land.” They think they know a lot more than they do. Kids want to get started; adults know that certain cautions should be observed.
My father killed the joy of fishing by lining the 5 of us kids up on a pier and droning on for more than an hour about the dangers of fishing. It was a long time before any of us wanted to go fishing again!
The next time we went, with an uncle, it was a wonderful experience! He told us the cautions while having fun fishing.
Some Fishing Safety Tips
Decide beforehand if flotation vests are required — and by whom. Then stick with that decision! Kids will try to whine their way out of wearing vests.
After teaching kids how to bait their hook and cast, talk about the effects of weather and winds on fishing. Anglers usually have one eye on their lines and the other on the weather.
They need to understand the dangers of lightning and how their rods can conduct electricity to their bodies! Explain when you decide to stop fishing — is it at the beginning of a rainstorm or when the thunder starts to rumble?
If there are power lines around, explain how to avoid danger if they use long rods or fancy fly-fishing casting.
When I go fishing with kids, I learn as much as I teach! It’s a great way to communicate with kids on a different level.
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