Take Me Fishing….My Kids

One of the parts that I like about fishing is the camaraderie of hitting the water with my pals.  We give each other grief over dropped fish or botched casts.  We celebrate proper execution that results in a trophy fish.  We commiserate during freezing temperatures, extreme heat, and downpours.  Sometimes I prefer solitude and head out on my own, but for the overwhelming majority of the time I really enjoy fishing with others.

Over the course of the season there isn’t anyone who fishes on my boat who is more important than my kids.  We don’t get to go as often as I’d like (which would be at least 5 times a week).  Other obligations such as school, sports, activities, friends, and summer jobs cut into most of that time, and it’s ok.  We still get on the water every week which makes them my favorite times for sure.

I like teaching them about a sport I really love. I like teaching them about the environment and how weather and time-of-year affect fishing.  I like watching them get the hang of a new technique and then using it to their advantage.  I like watching them get frustrated when the action is slow, working through their feelings and then coming out on the other side.  I like watching them catch ‘em up.  They smile more when they’re on the water than they do when they are in front of a computer screen.  Fishing is real, and it’s also reel.

My daughter is a freshman in high school and wants to work in a fishing shop.  That makes me happy.

When we get out on the water as a family we leave the junk behind.  There are no squabbles about whose turn it is to take out the trash or empty the dishwater.  We focus on which spots we should try and what approach we should take. Time isn’t wasted when we go fishing, and the memories we create are ones that will carry us through the rest of it all.  I hope they don’t have games this weekend.  After all there’s a hot bite
going on in the bay.

Be sure to get lots of kids out fishing this season.  In addition to passing on your skills to our future stewards it’s just a whole lot of fun!

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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.