For every keen fisherman, casting a line on a sunny afternoon is more than just a casual pastime, it’s a passion. In Australia fishing is a sport that requires a certain amount of concentration and commitment – not every child’s strong point.
If you’re looking to introduce your family to the art of fishing and not entirely sure how to go about it, then follow this simple guide for the best fishing gift you can give: teaching your kids how to fish.
1. Don’t Start Too Seriously, Too Young
It comes as no surprise that young children will be unprepared for the obstacles of fishing. As a pastime that requires a degree of skill, involves significant downtime and a varying degree of tangible success, perhaps the best way to teach your children is to not teach them at all.
Instead, take your family on day trips down to the aquarium, local gardens or beach. It’s important to spark a natural curiosity for fish and the water. Young children especially will often find a goldfish in a bowl (or nemo fish safely behind a glass wall) far more interesting than a long day out on the water.
2. Find the Perfect Equipment
As your kids continue to grow it’s a great idea to show them how enjoyable fishing can actually be! Taking them out on a day trip with you will develop their initial interest and get them itching to grab a rod and cast a line of their own.
But passing down your knowledge doesn’t mean passing down all of your old fishing gear too. Chances are most of it will be too big, heavy or otherwise unsuitable for a youngster. Investing in a good fishing rod, hooks, sinkers, and maybe a lure to keep them active is a great way to start.
3. The Great Fishing Adventure
A day out on the water teaching your kids how to fish should be a true adventure filled with plenty of excitement. Incorporating fishing into your next family holiday will add to the sense of magnitude and help to build some serious anticipation around the occasion for your kids.
This is also a great way to associate the pastime with family and tradition, a positive link that will be around long after they’ve grown up. Whether you choose to stay in a cabin by the lake or fish from a hot sandy beach, some good old-fashioned exploring will make the experience a memorable one.
4. Be Patient
Though you might be a long-standing expert and leader of fishing, it’s safe to say you weren’t born that way – no one is. Children and even teenagers can be frustrated by the slow nature of fishing and lack the proper patience to succeed.
It’s important when teaching your kids how to fish you engage a child in those moments and remind them making a catch is not the only signpost of a successful expedition. Leading by example with a calm and positive outlook will ensure the attitude and techniques of a young fisher are better cultivated.
Between you and I, we understand that fishing isn’t actually all about the catch. But I guarantee you most children won’t see it that way. Often they need a physical reward to feel as though the outing has been a success, and going home without the thrill of a catch can leave a bad tinge on the day.
Choose a location that is well-stocked (try this link for the latest map). Remember – they’re new to this, and though you might enjoy a lazy afternoon of fishing, their first priority will undoubtedly be to make a ripper of a catch.
6. Bring Their Friends
As children grow to become teenagers, fishing with their parents may not seem like the coolest way to spend the weekend anymore. Consider extending the invitation on your next fishing trip to one of their friends.
This transforms teaching your kids how to fish from a family-only pastime to a wider social activity, encouraging friendships based on mutual interest and a desire to learn. Your child will appreciate the company and a fresh dynamic could even teach you a thing or two!