Moms Fishing with Kids
Motherhood occupies a special place in the world and it is somewhere between winning a gold medal and sainthood. Juggling a career with parenthood is difficult enough. But when kids ask to learn a sport or activity that a mom may not know pushes even the most patient women to the max. I should know; I married one. Here are some quick tips for moms to consider when taking their kids fishing for the first time:
1. Fishing is fun if you keep it simple. Take kids to a place where they can experience a lot of action. A farm pond or a reservoir that is loaded with panfish is an easy place to start.
Ask family, friends, or co-workers if they know of any places that have bluegills, sunfish, perch, or small bass.
2. These species are about the easiest to catch in the fishing world.
3. Check out areas close to home on a topographical map. Use mapserver.mytopo.com or the TakeMeFishing.org Hotspot Map.
4. With minimal gear – a spinning rod, reel, line, a bobber, a hook and a coffee can full of worms – you’re likely to find action soon after the bait hits the water. Kids want to see the red and white float go under and they want to feel the rod bend.
5. Remember your camera so you can take lots of pictures!
Kids who get bitten by the fishing bug will want to learn all they can about the sport. But for the first few trips, don’t stress about the technicalities. That will come with more time and study. If you bog them down with technicalities in their first few outings, then the odds are they won’t have fun. All that matters is that the bobber and bait gets in to the water where the fish are. Farm pond panfish don’t require much expertise, and they are very forgiving of bad casts.
In a child’s eye there is a lot more to fishing than catching. It’s a chance to spend time with their mom, siblings and friends. Kids have short attention spans and can get bored easily, even if they are catching a fish on every cast. So take frequent breaks. Pack a tasty picnic lunch. Point out birds, turtles or other animals that you see. If it’s hot, bring a bathing suit and go for a swim. Unless your child is destined for the pro circuit, they’ll have fun being on an adventure with you.
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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.