Go Fish: From Cards to the Great Outdoors

The ancient proverb says that if you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

Teaching your kids how to fish is great fun for the whole family and a great chance to share some life lessons. Fishing teaches your little one about patience, an appreciation of nature, ethics, balance and coordination, and shows them you don’t have to stare at a screen to have fun. Here are some tips to get your child on the path towards a lifelong hobby.

Packing the Right Gear: With children, simplicity is the nature of the game. Keep the bait and gear simple which will make it easy for children learning to fish. Starting out, kids want to see the little bobber bouncing up and down in the water. It makes it more interesting and easier for them to know when they are getting a bite. Don’t you remember how excited you were the first time you saw your bobber jerk down into the water?

Also, kids love using live bait as opposed to lures. Worms are the easiest to obtain and simply the best bait for any beginner. They are available at any bait store, but you can also go out and catch them on your own. This makes for a fun experience and kids may even enjoy it more than the fishing itself.

Picking the Right Destination: Kids bore easily, so it is important to pick a fishing spot that has lots of fish to keep them entertained. You may also want to find somewhere that has interesting, colorful, and unique fish, as they will keep your child more engaged. If you’re headed out on a fishing trip, check out San Diego, which is #2 on Field and Stream Magazine’s Best Fishing Cities, and a good spot to catch large and impressive fish. North Cascades National Park, Washington is also a great spot to catch interesting fish like salmon, and the Florida Keys has a unique fishing environment where you can hire a backcountry guide to teach your child about the fish in the area. Make sure to teach your child about the fish he or she catches. They find animal facts very interesting and will remember these long after the trip is over.

Jenny Holt is a freelance writer who recently began camping with her family. She was excited to share her experiences and hopes that it may help other families as they begin to camp and experience the outdoors. 

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