We introduced Mason to fishing earlier this year and have been having such a blast with it. Now that we have several months of it under our belts I thought I would share some tried and true tips for fishing with kids.
1.) Choose a kid friendly location.
When searching for a lake, pond or creek choose one that is large and safe enough for kids to explore. Also, find a location that is well stocked so that kids have a better chance of catching fish. This helps keep their interest and makes them want to come back. We like to take Mason to our little pond because it's stocked with Bluegill and Sunfish, which are perfect for small kids.
2.) Go prepared.
Have plenty of water, snacks, and bug spray/sunscreen available. Even if you're there for 30 minutes it is inevitable that your child will be hungry or thirsty. Also, have plenty of bait and ready to fish poles. Backlash may happen and kids usually don't have the patience to wait while you fix said backlash. Just swap out the poles and you're good to go!
3.) Use a bobber.
This will help kids (and you) know when they have a bite.
4.) Keep it short and simple, be patient, have fun and know when to stop.
Start off by going in short spurts so that if you're not catching anything fishing doesn't lose its appeal! You can build up to longer trips as the child gets older and their attention span gets bigger. Keep it simple and to the basics...there is plenty of time for teaching the details later. If you're constantly critiquing right off the bat it may not be as fun and the child may lose interest!