Why Should I Take My Kids Fishing?

Goodness, let me count the reasons!

Fishing together builds new ways of relating between parents and children!

People Only Save What They Value

If we don’t teach our children to care about nature, they won’t protect it!   There’s a lot of truth to the song,

“Don’t it always seem to go

That you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone

They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” *

Get a Future Fishing Partner 

Folks who take the time to train kids to enjoy the pleasures of fishing earn life-long fishing companions.  This isn’t a very shabby outcome, believe me!

My father had the right intentions, but he used lousy techniques.  He killed the joy of fishing by lining us up on a pier and droning on for more than an hour about the dangers of fishing.

When we made a mistake, we weren’t allowed to forget it.  My father never could understand why we were unwilling fishing partners!

It’s an Opportunity to Relate Differently

While out fishing, you may learn new things about your kids — the way they look at things, what worries them, etc.

When we took our kids fishing, they surprised us by talking about their lives away from us (school), their likes and dislikes … and a thousand other things.

There’s something about being in a natural environment that brings out soulful discussions.

Keep the Preaching to a Minimum 

There is something very satisfying about seeing a child’s face light up when they catch their first fish — even if it is a tiny perch!

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!  Most of us are so used to talking to our kids as … well, kids … that we forget that they will eventually be adults.  This is a great time to practice talking to them as adults.  Kids hear the difference and appreciate the change!

Getting Started

After teaching kids how to bait their hook and cast, talk about the effects of weather and winds on fishing.  Show what you know … your kids can learn a few things about you, too!


*  From the song, Big Yellow Taxi, by Joni Mitchell


This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com


Published in: on June 17, 2011 at 12:02 am  Comments Off on Why Should I Take My Kids Fishing?  
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Part 2 of Taking Kids Fishing

The goal of most adults in taking youngsters fishing is to get a life-time fishing partner.  Frankly, the goal is admirable … the road to that goal is usually rather rocky.

Getting Ready for Success

There's a World of Fun Out There - Called Fishing!

In order to keep kids interested in fishing, it is important that they catch fish!  The first order of business is to choose a fishing location where kids and fish can spend some quality time together.

Kids don’t care what kind of fish they catch, they just want … action!   So taking a newbie angler marlin fishing would probably be a disaster.

The idea of riding in a boat for an hour, or more, to get to the right spot for catching large game fish would be a total turn-off for most kids.

Using Basic Equipment

Turning over your new fly-fishing equipment to a new angler is another poor idea.  Kids need to learn the ropes with a minimum of equipment.

For a basic fishing set-up, you need go no further than a cane pole and a few basic items.  For cane pole fishing, refer to yesterday’s article: ‘A Great Way to Introduce Kids to Fishing.’

Your Behavior is Critical to Success

Let kids feel important by letting them help with the equipment.  They are not going to handle items as carefully as you do; try to be tolerant.  Remember your goal: You want a long-term fishing buddy.

A guaranteed day-ruiner: Yelling at kids, barking orders, giving lots of unasked-for advice.  Please don’t get upset when kids make mistakes.

Let kids do their own thing! I can’t tell you how many times my brothers would stop fishing, go tinker with something for a while and return to fishing.

Most likely, the place you take the kids fishing is a new area to them.  They will want to explore or test limits. Try to be flexible – remember that it is their free day too.

Make a big “to-do” about anything they catch. Please don’t do what my father did with my first big fish.  He took it off the line and promptly cut it up into smaller pieces for more bait.  I  was crushed!

Take breaks; praise kids for their efforts.  Try to instill a respect for nature.


The most important suggestion:  Quit fishing when kids get tired or lose interest.  Remember: Tomorrow’s another day!


This blog is a companion to my website: GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

Published in: on February 19, 2010 at 12:04 am  Comments Off on Part 2 of Taking Kids Fishing  
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A Great Way to Introduce Kids to Fishing

I live in an area that can usually measure “the days of winter” on one hand!  However, we are into the 10th week (!) of freezing night-time temperatures.

After this winter, the idea of “global warming” is laughable.  But that’s another story.

Instead, I’d like to think about taking kids fishing.  My calendar says spring is coming, but the mess outside my window disagrees.  Thus, I’ll just have to dream about…

Kids and Fishing

Kids & Cane Polin'

In my dream, it is early spring.  You and I know that the water in small ponds heats up faster than in large bodies of water.

The first fishing trip with a youngster can be an exasperating experience.  Thus, I’ve decided to go low-tech and use cane poles.

Our great-grandparents had it right when they invented cane poles.  This is equipment a kid can get his hands around – no moving parts and not enough line to create a birds-nest to unravel.

Getting Started

Fish become more active during spawning.  The temperature of the water controls the spawning cycle.  The smaller the body of water, the sooner the spawning begins.

Another sign of early spring is the emerging plants in the water.  Fish are particularly fond of cabbage plants — and they sprout after a few days of warmth.

For a large photo of cabbage weeds growing in water, refer to my previous article, “Why ‘Weeds’ Are Important to Fishing.”

Cane Poles in the Weeds

A 16 foot cane (or fiberglass) pole is ideal for fishing in weeds.  You only need a few feet of line, a bobber, a hook and some bait. A long-handled net is also important when fishing in this situation.

Baitfish hide in submerged weeds. Predator fish hang around the weeds, hoping for a ‘meal-deal.’

The trick for kids is to learn how to dip their lure or bait into the spaces in lily pads, weedy patches and other hard-to-reach areas.

Tips to Share

Lesson # 1: ‘If you can see the fish, he can see you.’

Lesson #2: Fishing is a quiet sport because fish can feel sounds. “They can feel vibrations and/or hear sounds that occur in the water (up to ~ 100 feet away).” *


The beauty of using a cane pole is that kids quickly learn to recognize the feel of fish nibbling and biting their bait.  And that expression is priceless!


* Quote from my previous article:Fish Senses & How They Use Them – Part 2′


This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com