Top 10 tips for fishing with children

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Fishing can be a fun sport for children and parents. In addition to spending quality time together outdoors, families can get away from their hectic schedules and enjoy a day full of sunshine laughing, talking and enjoying the fresh air.

But introducing young children to sports, which may seem daunting to some, is really easy with a little foresight.

"The important thing is patience," says Greg Schoby, fisheries manager of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game in Idaho. "Be positive, have fun, and remember that it's not just your fishing trip, it's also your fishing trip."

Parents should also consider their role as a fishing trainer as an investment with benefits in the future.

"If you are patient and do it well, the return time will come later when they take you fishing," says Schoby.

Idaho Fish and Game recommends keeping these ten simple tips in mind to help ensure that your young child likes to fish right from the start:

1. The catch is the key: Trying to get kids hooked on fishing is about putting a fish on the line quickly. And for children, it's about captured numbers, not how big. Finding a well-stocked pond or lake is essential. Idaho Fish and Game makes it easy to search for local fishing spots suitable for families. Visit for locations, tips, events and more.

2. Keep it simple: Short, lightweight poles and closed reels are good options. All you need to start is a couple of small hooks, a few bobbers and 1-inch leads. If you do not have equipment or have never fished before, Idaho Fish and Game's Take Me Fishing fishing trailers are loaded with borrowed fishing rods, tackle, baits and are staffed by experienced fishermen who can help you. These trailers make appearances in well-stocked fishing holes throughout the state. For a list of free events in your area, visit

3. Be brief: The younger the child is, the shorter the attention span. If the fish is not biting, do not keep the children hostage by watching their fishing poles. Allow some breaks to jump the rock, enjoy the beach, which keeps them happy and allows them to enjoy the outdoors. And do not be surprised if catching fish is not your first priority. Just remember: as your child's attention lengthens, so will your fishing trips.

4. Be patient: Accept that you will have to dismantle lines, hooks and probably not fish much. They will probably get tangled up, get dirty or even get a little wet. But remember, the fastest way to get kids fishing is to get frustrated with them. Keeping the patient and the short exit [less than an hour for beginners] will put him on the road to cultivate a life-long fishing companion.

5. Snacks: Prepare a fridge with sandwiches and many snacks like granola bars, cookies, peanuts and a treat or two. Fish for 30 minutes or so and then take a break. Fish for 30 minutes and then take another rest. Sandwiches with breaks can help with times of frustration and will keep children interested for longer.

6. Remember the essentials: In addition to the hooks, the line and the leads, be sure to bring sunscreen, insect repellent, drinks, some band-aids and a fishing license if necessary. Young people aged 13 and under do not need a fishing license, but those over 14 must have a license in their possession while fishing.

7. Never waste teaching moments: Fishing is not only about catching fish, it is about creating memories and learning. Take advantage of the moments to teach them; tell them about insects, birds, plants and fish. The outdoors is the best type of classroom and children will absorb it like a sponge.

8. Keep some: Capture and release is an important aspect of angling, but there is nothing wrong with keeping some for the pan if fishing rules allow it. It can also open their minds about where the food they eat comes from. Just like agriculture, it is important to open your children's minds about where people get their food.

9. Leave it better than you found it: Remember to pack your trash and encourage the children to pick it up too. These lessons shape responsible and aware fishermen who help ensure the future of our sport.

10. Good times again: If you want your children to go fishing again, the "fun" part is the most important. Choose a sunny day, take pictures and simply have fun observing them have a good time. Keep this in mind and, regardless of the amount of fish caught, each exit will be a success.


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