Fishing with Kids
by Terri Mackinnon
Have you ever had the opportunity to see a childs face and the reaction they have when they feel a fish bite at the end of their line? If you haven't I hope that I can encourage you to take a child out and give them the chance to show you what an incredible experience it really can be.
I have shared many times my experiences with parents and one of the saying that I love to leave with them is "Learn who your children are from the outside in". Fishing with kids offers so much more.
Today we have encouraged our kids to stay indoors and play on computers, watch tv and keep their lives as simple as we can. Most of the time this is only due to how stressed our lives have become. Or we take the other route and run the kid ragged with every activity that we can possibly put them into ..... to keep them busy so we can also keep up with our stressful lives.
When I was much younger my parents basically told us to get outside, but it was something that we wanted to do. When we came back from school we wanted to stay out and spend time with our friends and usually only came home as it got darker for dinner. The anti-social behaviors that we are now seeing today in society have been created because we allow our kids to remain behind their closed bedroom doors on their nintendo's and computers and alone. W are not allowing our kids to create the same kind of social networking that we enjoyed.
Although I had spent alot of time outdoors when I was a kid, I was one of those people that never had the want or need to go out and fish. First I was brought up to believe it was a guy thing and girls really didn't want to fish. It wasen't encouraged and I wasen't pushing it.
It took me until I was 40 before I realized what I had missed by not having the opportunity to fish as a kid. Since then I am totally passionate about what I had missed and have the chance to now share it with my daughters and granddaughers and other now fishing sisters.
Having a granddaughter 4 years ago gave me the opportunity to see what it was like to fish as a child through her eyes. We laugh when we say she was born with a fishing rod in her hand.. but I guess she entered into this world with having one waiting for her.
We encouraged her to play indoors with her rod, by the time she was 18 months old she knew how to cast her little plastic kids rod and proudly reeled it back in.
She liked going to the pond and practicing her fishing, but it took until she was around 3 before she actually was able to catch her own fish.
One day I took her down to a local pond and video taped our experience. What I found amazing was how hyper she was before we started fishing. She was jumping around, using her outdoors voice and getting pretty excited about getting ready to fish. However, when we did start to fish she became quiet, and soft spoken and she was calm.
As I spoke in my normal indoor voice, she told me to be quiet. She said our voices would scare the fish and we had to whisper. She now has the nickname the "fish whisperer" because of it. She sat and talked about catch and release and being able to catch her fish again later. It was an amazing day that I was fortunate enough to have caught on video. She watched that video for months every night before she went to bed.
Fishing with kids opens up so many lines of communication. Kids will tell you their stories when your fishing with them. This new opportunity gives you the chance to focus in on their lives and what is going on in it. It also gives you the place to share stories of your history and your familes. Fishing is about so much more then catching the fish.
You don't have to rent a boat, or find a large lake. Fishing can be done at local small streams, rivers and ponds all around the world. For under 100.00 you can buy your license, get some rods and tackle and enjoy a year of fishing. We spend more then that going to one movie, concert or sporting event that last for only that one day.
Before you head out with your child here are some things you should make sure you take into consideration.
LIFE JACKETS it doesnt matter if is 2" of water.. remember what your mom told you.. .don't take a chance with small children.
Snacks.. drinking boxes, water.
Hats and proper clothing (Hot and cold) rain gear. .just in case
Sunglasses (Even if its not overly sunny, reflections off the water sometimes make it difficult to see)
Equipment: Rod and Spinning Reel combos are available at large box stores in their sporting goods department. You will also find kids rods and tackle. I would suggest taking your child to the store with you to start the experience.