Feature Article: Get Kids Fishing

Ten ways to get kids into fishing this summer

BY KAYLA NEVIUS/Special to Western Outdoor NewsPublished: Aug 10, 2018

So you want to take your kids fishing? Whether you’ve taken them out before or you’re thinking about doing it for the first time, here are some great and effective ways to get your kids involved the sport and hooked for life!

1) Introduce them to the great sport of fishing! Make it a habit to show your kids pictures, read them interesting facts, and point out exciting fish counts when you get the newest Western Outdoor News! Then, leave your WON on the breakfast table and don’t be surprised to see them picking it up to read while enjoying breakfast! If you’re going to be taking them to a specific lake, on a particular boat, etc., make sure to focus on that one to get them more excited. After your trip they’ll want to grab your WON every week to see how that particular boat or lake is doing!

2) Make it fun! Come home from your fishing trips with pictures and stories to share with the kids to get them interested. When you finally get to take them fishing, make sure the time is right. As fishermen, we know that sometimes they bite and sometimes they don’t, but when we take kids for their first few times we want to make sure they have a good chance at actually catching fish. Try to get them hooked! Make sure the weather is going to be acceptable and the fish reports have been steadily good. Nothing can get a kid to never want to fish again like horrible weather and no fish.

3) Social Media. Believe it or not, social media can be a great way to get kids excited about fishing. Introduce them to some good, parent-approved fishing pages on Facebook or Instagram to follow and they will constantly be seeing fishing pictures while scrolling through their friends’ feeds. If they’re seeing awesome fishing pictures daily, they will be more and more fascinated by it! If your kid is too young to have their own social media, then you can still make an effort to show them fishing pictures from your feed, or from an internet search! Or better yet, find some semi-short and exciting fishing videos on YouTube so they can get a taste of what its really like.

4) Take your kids and a couple of their friends to one of the fishing conventions/events near you. Most of them have youth-focused games, raffles and seminars that really help peak interest and make it fun! These events are great for educating them, plus they could have a chance to win some awesome new gear! Then they’ll really be begging to go!

5) Youth fishing clubs and events! Although they aren’t as wide spread on the West Coast, a youth fishing club is a great way to get kids involved. When kids have friends with the same interests it can make them more eager to keep up with that hobby. They want to be able to talk to their friends about what they do and have them understand what they’re saying. The more kids the better! You can start off by just getting together with your buddies and their kids once a month to all hang out and fish. Use the internet and social media as a resource to get more people involved by creating or joining a local Facebook group to get the word out. Pass out flyers to local tackle shops, schools, daycares, etc. We can all make time for a once-a-month event for our kids, especially if it’s going to surround them with a great group of friends with a passionate hobby to last a lifetime!

6) Surprise them with their own rod and tackle! Every kid that gets their own fishing rod, tackle box, or lures wants to go fishing as soon as they get them! Companies have made it easier by making kids rods with their favorite cartoon characters, superheroes and other fun colors to choose from. When they have their own gear, they will be much more anxious to play with it and put it to use!

7) Take them to the tackle shop to pick out their own gear! Kids love having a say in things, so this is the perfect time to get them even more eager to fish. It’s not only a great way to teach them about the lures and tackle you’ll be needing for the type of fishing you’ll be doing, but they'll also be more than excited to pick them out for themselves. Just wait until they catch a fish on the lure they got to pick out and see how proud they are that they caught a fish on “their own” lure that they got to choose!

8) Who needs a lake, pond, river or ocean to have fun practicing? Make a game out of it! Take the kids outside with their rods and set up targets for them to aim for with their casts. This is a perfect way to teach them the basics and also make it fun before they get out there on the water. It’s also a great for enhancing their skills throughout the year between fishing trips! Knot-tying and casting contests? You bet!

9) Talk it up! Gavin, 10, explained that if he was trying to get his friends to come fishing he would convince them by telling them how much fun it is! He also said he loves fishing because it is a great experience and he has fun catching fish! Gavin likes to leave out any details about slow fishing so he can get his friends to go out there with him and get them hooked on all of the exciting times that make it all worth it.

10) Take pictures! When you finally take your kids fishing, be sure to take pictures! Everyone takes pictures on their cell phones nowadays, which is great, but get those pictures printed ASAP. Some photo printers are pretty inexpensive if you want to be able to do it yourself, or print them at a store near you. Get two copies made! Make your kid a fishing-specific photo album so they have something to look at to keep them excited. Let them take the second copy of the pictures to school, daycare, soccer practice, etc. so they can show their friends their recent catches!

I am hoping these tips can help make all those future moments on the water even greater. Always keep in mind that you will more than likely need to prepare yourself for the first few “kid fishing” experiences. Be easy on them, stay patient, understand their attention span, know that they’ll make mistakes and expect fish to be lost... but more importantly, remember that in the end it is all worth it! Taking your kids fishing can lead to some of the most rewarding and memorable moments of your life and theirs!




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