Take a Kid Fishing & Get Ready to Smile
Kids have a way of making us adults smile the way that nobody else can. They will say or do the quirkiest things that can be hilarious. I have found that taking kids fishing will usually provide many laughs and smiles throughout the day.
Now, to be fair, there will be times when taking kids fishing will test your sanity and push you to the brink of madness as well!!
So I wanna dive in to some tips to help you out when taking a kid out fishing and share my personal favorite story with the young man in the picture.
- Be on THEIR level. Not all youths get to go fishing often and can cast a mile or flip under boat docks. Please get to THEIR level and not try to reinvent the wheel for a few hours of fishing.
- Use kid friendly equipment. Don’t get mad when your $500 rod & reel combo is destroyed by a youth that has no idea what they are doing. Have a few pushbutton reels, spinning reels and a bait caster or 2 ready to meet the needs of the particular youth for that day.
- Keep it fun. Don’t make it a grind to stay on the water for 12 hours straight. Show them cool stuff on your electronics, show them bald eagles, let them run the trolling motor, let them look through some of your gear. A lot of times, it is just that TIME that they want and need. Not catching 10lbers or 100 fish a day.
- Be Legal. I know it sounds crazy, but your fines and points can go up if you are caught breaking the law in front of a minor. Check local laws and restrictions about what age youths need a fishing license, life jackets, etc. Be on the pro-active side and make sure your boat is legal and ready to go when you are taking kids out fishing.
- Keep them hydrated & full. Bring plenty of water, Gatorade, and snacks. Kids burn calories at an amazing rate. Grab things kids like to eat and drink instead of coffee, monsters, and dry sandwiches.
Ok, now that we have gone over some quick pointers to make your youth fishing trip a little easier. Let me tell you about the young man in the picture.
We were fishing a popular area on Lake Fork and had just caught a large slot fish in the 7-8Lb range. We took a quick pic and let her go. Immediately a smaller boat idled up very close to us that had 1 adult and two young men under 12 years old in the boat. The adult asked us if they could fish there. He stated they weren’t from here and had 2 kids in the boat and haven’t got a bite all day.
We told them sure, and even threw them the soft plastic bait we were using. The young man was using a 5’6”-6” spinning rod when suddenly it doubled over and the drag began to scream like a cat hung under a screen door!! I thought, well those reels are probably set really loose, when all of a sudden this huge behemoth of a fish surfaces between us!! I screamed do you have a net?!?! He said NO….so I trolled over and threw him my net. He fought the fish for at least 90 seconds to 2 minutes before he finally got it in the net.
The shouts and high fives could be heard and seen for miles. It was a sight to see. When we put her on my scales she weighed 11.19 lbs. and was 24 5/8” long.
He crawled over in my boat and we took a ton of pics and I bet he said thank you Mister a bazillion times. I could have died a happy man at that moment.
It made all of us smile like Charlie Brown if he had ever gotten to kick that football. That was over 10 years ago and it is still a memory I will never forget.
When you get a chance, ditch your usual fishing buddy for a day and take a kid fishing who doesn’t have the boat, equipment or skills you do. When you see their faces light up, there is nothing like it in this world.