I am freshwater fishing father. I have three boys 4, 8 and 10. They all love it although my 4 year old loses interest after an hour he still gets very excited to go. This activity gets them out of the house and thinking about how to best catch the whooper! I recently went with my 10 year old at dusk and we caught 10 largemouth bass. It was a great time even though it was raining off and on and my son couldn’t set the hook that well, I set it for him and let him reel them in. We went to a local pond in Attleboro and fished from the shore. The trick is finding enough room to cast where your kids don’t end up hooking an oak tree or bush!
How much did this activity cost me? Mostly my time. You can pickup an open cast reel and pole for about 20 bucks. Buying a few lures will cost you another 20 but you will have them for a long time unless you get them caught in a tree. You want to make sure you get an open cast reel. They are the best for the kids to use and least trouble. Don’t get me wrong you will still have to fix the line a half dozen times and clean the “bird’s nest” (ie. fishing lines tangle). You can go with the cheaper novelty combo poles to start too, but these don’t last and are difficult to fix. Don’t forget to pick up a box of worms too. A nightcrawler always catches something, and bobber fishing is fun. However remember you have to rip those buggers in half or bring a sharp knife, they wiggle! You can expect sunfish, pumpkinseed, and perch with this strategy.
The main things to remember for freshwater fishing are the following:
-Get a pole with open cast reel, tackle box, and box of worms. Other reels are OK but I have found open cast is easiest to fix and cast long term.
-Scout for lake or pond with enough room to cast on the shore. Remember kids are learning and need space but my 4 year old can cast a little already. A boat is even better but requires a lot more planning.
-Bring a lot of patience. It is frustrating sometimes but encourage them and it will come.
-Starting with worms is fine. Bass fishing requires more time and lure technique, but it is great fun.
-Bring sun tan lotion and bug spray. It can be hot and buggy.
-Generally best fishing is dusk and dawn although you can do it anytime.
-the parent should have a fishing license, in Massachusetts they are like $27 and available at sporting goods stores.
In the days of video games, TV, computers, and other techie stuff, there is nothing like getting back to nature and the one on one relationship between a mom or dad and their kids. A little patience goes a long way, but the rewards are amazing. If you haven’t done it, give it a try, somedays are better than others remember, so you have to give it a chance but it will pay you back many times over with the smiles on their faces. Good luck.