There’s only one thing in this world that’s better than fishing, and that’s bringing your little people along for the ride. Seeing your child’s face light up after reeling in a big one never gets old and is (almost) as good as landing a fish yourself. Fishing with the little tackers is a different kettle of fish to heading out by yourself though, and there are a few things to think about before heading down to your nearest jetty with your little ones in tow. For the best chance of winning over a fishing buddy for life, keep the following tips in mind.
1. Come up with a fishing plan and stick to it
As the old saying goes, proper preparation prevents poor performance. This couldn’t apply more to fishing with kids. You need to know where you’re going, when you’re going, for how long you’re going. There’s no detail too small to be skipped. It’s also a great idea to write a list of everything you need to bring along with you, from snacks to hooks. Just make sure to leave the iPad off the list.
2. Check the weather
There’s no question that kids are fair weather Fishos, so forget about your plans to head out in the rain until your little ones catch the fishing bug. This might mean being a bit more selective with the days you choose, but in the long run it’ll pay off as your little tackers will have a much better experience fishing on days when the sun is shining, and the birds are chirping.
3. Stick to short fishing trips
When introducing your kids to fishing, you’re best-off sticking to short trips of a few hours long rather than spending a whole day out. Plan your trips around the tide changes and you’ll give yourselves the chance to experience the most action in the shortest amount of time. A good starting point is to spend an hour or two either side of the tide change. This is just a safe bet though, and if your little one’s having a ball there’s no reason to shut up shop early!
4. Leave your fishing rod at home
From baiting up hooks to untangling line, chances are you’ll be too busy working as a deckhand to cast a line in yourself. Until the kids are confident enough to cast in their own line, tie their own knots, and bait their own hooks, we’d recommend leaving your fishing rod at home.
5. Get your children their own kids fishing gear
Getting your kids kitted out with their own gear is great for two main reasons. The first is that they’ll be able to handle it a lot easier, the second is that they’ll (hopefully) take a bit more ownership of the experience and pay a little extra attention. Plus, taking a trip down to your local BCF with the kids is a great day out in itself. With a wide range of your favourite brands and plenty of gear for the kids ranging from kids fishing rod and reel combos to fishing tackle boxes, the kids are sure to have a cracker time before even stepping foot near the water.
6. Load up on snacks
Nothing will put an end to your fishing trip quicker than a rumbling tummy. So, make sure the kids have full bellies before you head out, and a few of their favourite snacks if they start to get a little peckish. Especially important if the fish aren’t biting.
7. Less (fishing tackle) is more
There’s no need to bring a boat load of fishing gear along with you. A few sinkers, hooks, swivels and some bait are all you need to have a memorable day fishing with your kids. Plus, you’ll have a lot less mess and a lot less to carry, which is always a huge bonus. The most important bits of fishing equipment to bring along include:
- A small tackle box like this family tackle kit from Plano that comes with all the gear
- A kid’s fishing combo
- Enough fishing tools to get the job done
- A bucket, or icebox for your catch
It’s now time to make some memories that’ll last a lifetime with your little ones. Your kids will never forget the day they caught their first bream, flatty, or even Charlie carp, and if you’re lucky they just might catch the fishing bug and tie your rigs down the track. Fishing gives you the opportunity to teach your kids skills that’ll last them a lifetime, and even though they might not want to swap the phone out for a fishing rod at first, there’s no way they’ll forget the quality time spent as a family down at the local pier, pond, or on the boat.