Most parents are aware that they are building the future in their children.  There are those who want to find constructive ways to spend their older years and those of their older family members.  Involving both of these groups in fishing can also build the future of fishing.

Mature adults and children do not measure the success of a trip by the number of pounds of fish caught.  For that matter, studies show that the average fisherman does not measure success by how close to a limit he can get.  It is a chance to enjoy the experience in a garden tended by the forces of nature.  It is pleasurable to be out in nature and sharing its abundance.  Children need that to continue in the sport.  Mature adults need to remember those happy days.

The true angler speaks of the social interaction with other fishermen and of trying to find the fish as being why they are involved in the sport.

Do not place too much emphasis on competition rather than enjoyment of the experience.  If the hero is the guy who catches the biggest or most fish it intimidates some children and turns off some adults.  They may leave the sport in frustration missing the basics that fishing is intended to enrich.  Fishing should provide values that make it a quality outdoor experience.  Fishing emphasizes values and experience.

We have too much pressure to succeed in our lives.  Fishing, if done correctly, can offer an alternative to the high tech and social pressures of daily life.

As the day begins to draw down, the angler with the feeling of peace that a good day on the water can provide will continue in the sport.  One frustrated by the failure of a new technology to produce desired results misses the point of the activity.  He is not really enjoying fishing.  He is just adding additional stress to his life.

So how does a parent introduce his child to fishing?  Or maybe one wants to take a grandchild or neighbor’s kid fishing.

Begin by making a big deal out of the planning.  Everything about the outing should be fun.  Remember that younger children enjoy their activities in short doses.  Older people can take it only in short doses.  Combine the activities with other fun things such as picnics, playing catch, flying a kite or just hanging out.  It is also a good idea that the parent is there to make the experience fun for the child, not the other way around.  This is the child’s fishing trip.

It is advisable that one start a child’s fishing career at a body of water that is not dangerous.  A park lake or pond is a good idea.  That way if a child should fall into the water, it is not life threatening or otherwise traumatic for them.  It is also easier for a parent if he is not constantly stressing about the child falling in the water and drowning.  Putting a life jacket on smaller children can be a calming experience for the parent.  Make it a game so that the child does not see himself as punished for being little.

During the planning stages, it is a good idea to make a big deal out of obtaining the things needed for the trip.   It does not have to be costly, but kids will need a rod and reel, a float (bobber), some hooks and sinkers, and possibly a bait bucket and bait.  It is not necessary to invest a lot of money in the purchase.

Once at the fishing pond, remember your manners and teach them to the child.  Do not let them intrude on the fishing of others.  If someone offers to help you with the kids fishing, let them and welcome the assistance.  This might be a good time to involve grandpa or grandma.

Fasten the float on the line a foot or 18 inches above the hook.  Thread or loop a small piece of worm on the hook.  You can tell the kids that worms are too dumb to have feelings.

Show the child how to flip, cast or swing the rig out into the water.  Then let them do it.  It does not have to get very far out.  You can practice at home in the back yard as part of the preparations.

Remember that whatever they do that does not threaten their safety or interfere in the fun of others is OK.  Collecting bugs, holding worm races, eating, racing up and down the hill and just about anything that does not disturb others is alright while fishing.  So is quitting and doing something else for the rest of the day.

Some kids can watch the float all day.  Some will want to bring it in right away.  It they want to bring it in and cast again, that is alright too.  Most anything they want to do is permissible except perhaps eating the worms.

If their attention beings to wander because nothing is happening, suggest they try another spot.  When the float beings to show signs of activity, you can make a big deal of it.  A fish even a little one is a big deal to a child.  Once the fish is caught encourage the child to let it go but if they decide to keep it, that is OK too.  The decision is theirs they caught the fish.  But it is a good time to teach about catch and release as an ethic.

If the child wants to keep his fish and take it home for eating, do it no matter how small the fish.  It is important to him that he caught a fish and the family will be able to eat it.

This is the time for teaching kids about fishing.  And a time to relieve past fishing trips with an older adult.  The fish are biting and the weather is warming.  Winter is over and summer has not quite arrived.  Get out with your children or borrow some of the neighbor’s kids and go fishing.  Do not have a living grandparent ask a neighbor who does not have a chance to fish very often.


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