There are few things better at helping fathers and their children build life-long memories than fishing together. More than a way to pass the time, fishing can be integral in helping your child gain an appreciation for nature, build confidence, develop motor skills and patience, and bonding time with dad.
One of the best parts about introducing your child to fishing is the fact that you don’t have to be a pro or life-long angler to enjoy it.
In this issue, we’ll tell you how simple it can be to introduce your child to fishing, talk about what equipment you’ll need and share a few tips for making your fishing outing a success.
What type of fishing gear will I need for my child?
You don’t have to spend a small fortune to introduce your child to fishing.
- A basic rod and reel.
There are high quality – and expensive – rod and reels available, but the best bet for a child is a basic no-frills classic rod and reel. In fact, the lighter the reel, the better. When even a small fish takes the bait, the tug on the reel will cause a thrill for your child.
- Bobbers and sinkers.
Even if you prefer not to use a bobber while fishing, it can be important for your child to use one while learning the sport. Just watching the way the bobber reacts will play a huge role in helping your child land that first fish.
While live bait is the most common, it will probably be up to you to put it on your child’s hook. Don’t be intimidated if you haven’t done it yourself or it’s been a while. Do a bit of research online for instructional videos.
- Tackle box.
Again, no need to go with a heavy-duty multi-level monster tackle box. A simple, small and sturdy container will do the trick.
Do I need a license to fish in California?
Anyone 16 or older must have a fishing license in his or her immediate possession while fishing in California. You can purchase short-term licenses (1-day, 2-day and 10-day) or annual licenses.
However, July 7 and September 1 are Free Fishing Days in California. On these days, you’ll be allowed to fish on public bodies of water without a license.
What steps can I take to ensure our fishing trip is fun for my child?
The first couple of fishing trips are crucial to determining whether or not you and your child will enjoy it on a long-term basis.
- Teach your child how to cast the rod and reel in the hook.
You’ll most likely be surprised at how quickly your child learns to cast a line, but remember to be patient as you show how the new equipment works.
- Don’t be shy about keeping it short.
The key is to stay as long as your child’s interest is held, so don’t be frustrated if that translates into only a half-hour or so. Don’t turn it into a grueling marathon session if your child’s interest isn’t there.
- Go where the fish are.
The goal, of course, is to catch a fish or two, so do a bit of research and select a location that is well stocked with fish.
Also, if you’re fishing from the bank, select a place that’s stable and has few hazards, like rocks. If you’ll be fishing from a boat, be sure you and your children are wearing life vests.
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