4 Ideas for Better Family Fishing

By Tom Keer

Apr 15, 2016

As much as it hurts, grandfathers, uncles or family friends sometimes do a better job teaching your kids how to fish. Consider sitting out the next family fishing lesson.

I hate to say it, but sometimes we parents aren't the best fishing buddies. I've experienced that situation during different phases of my own kids' lives. Sometimes they have a tough time differentiating between my saying "do your homework" and "cast over there." To keep the pot from boiling over, I'll try and bring along someone else who can add a different family fishing perspective. Whatever keeps my kids attention so they keep fishing is the important part. Here are some different options to consider.

  1. Another family member. Uncles, aunts, and cousins are great options. They offer a different dynamic to a family fishing trip. They're viewed as educators instead of enforcers, and if they live further away they'll pass along different techniques that come from their home waters. A grandparent is an ideal fishing partner, mostly because they tend to be the most patient, have a lot of experience, and can tell fishing stories from a longer time ago.
  2. Family friends. Sometimes, advice from a friend, neighbor, coach, or someone from church reaches kids' views better than a parent. There is a little distance between the two, a lack of familiarity, and a better receptivity.
  3. Other kids. Peer teaching can bring out a great intensity in a young angler. Some friend or peer relationships are competitive, and a little inspiration pushes young anglers to be their best. Other relationships are educational, particularly if one fisherman has more experience than the other. They'll show each other the ropes, and a lot of improvement can come in a short period of time.
  4. Other Anglers on the Water. One day, my wife and daughter were hammering fish. Two kids in the boat next to ours caught nothing. One young man yelled over for advice, and we pulled along side and shared some insight. Their problem was a simple fix, their fishing lures were too big so they got follows but no takes. We gave the young fellas a few different soft plastics fishing lures to try, and in a few moments they were hooked up.

In the end, it doesn't matter who we learn from so much that we learn. And when we're done learning how to catch fish and where to catch fish, we can all get on with the family fishing. Sharing is what it's all about, particularly so that we can catch more fish!

Tom Keer
Tom Keer
Tom Keer is an award-winning writer who lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a Contributing Writer for Covey Rise magazine, a Contributing Editor for both Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program.  Keer writes regularly for over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics related to fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor pursuits.  When they are not fishing, Keer and his family hunt upland birds over their three English setters.  His first book, a Fly Fishers Guide to the New England Coast was released in January 2011.  Visit him at www.tomkeer.com or at www.thekeergroup.com.