Fish Feed

How to get Kids Hooked on Fishing Without getting your Line Tangled

By The Snot Rocket Gang
on May 09, 2017

Even for the seasoned angled, introducing fishing to a child can be a little daunting. Below are a few tips and tricks on how to get your line wet when it comes to kids and fishing.

1. Equipment

There are lots to choose from when it comes to kid’s fishing equipment. Having a shorter and lighter rod makes for a lot less frustration in the long run. Shakespeare, Ugly Stik and Rapala all sell junior rods with some offering a rod/tackle combo starting at $20. Stop into your local Canadian Tire or tackle store to see what they have in stock. During the 2017 Toronto Sportsmen Show, a customer told us that her granddaughter caught a 7lb bass with her Dora the Explorer rod. Proud Grandma moment!

2. Licence

Check with your local provincial or state regulations. In Ontario, Canada people between the ages of 18-65 are required to carry a valid fishing licence. For more info on Ontario fishing licences go here.

3. Safety

It’s important to always practice proper water safety. On a boat, shore or dock there are dangers associated with each. Leading by example and choosing the right size life jacket or PFD are key factors in avoiding a potential tragedy. The Red Cross has great info and explains the difference between life jackets and PFDs.

4. Location

Over the years, I am sure you’ve acquired some great fishing spots, BUT unless they are a short distance away I wouldn’t take your junior angler there. Think exit plan in case things go awry. Ontario Parks are a great place to visit or research your local water system.

5. Fish Species

Small fish such as Perch, pumpkinseeds and sunfish are easy to catch giving this surprise egg generation instant gratification. A simple hook and worm or piece of corn will get them biting in no time.

6. Fuel

Bring lots of snacks and drinks to keep those big and small tummies happy. Ever hear the term ‘hangry’? If not, that’s what happens when you are so hungry you get angry and no body wants that! Stumped on what to bring? T-REIGN has a blog post full of ideas.

7. Listen

Turn off your phone and any other outside distraction. Ask the child direct questions such as “What is the best part of your day so far?” rather than “Are you having fun?” because a one word answer will ultimately follow not allowing the conversation to go further. Listen to their stories and join in the silliness. Being a kid again is something we should all practice more often.

8. Snap Away

Take lots of pictures to document the day. The ultimate first catch photo is not as important as the time spent together, so make sure you get a few group shots as well.

9. Educate

This is a great opportunity to teach future generations about conservation and the environment. The importance of catch and release, animal food chain, life cycles, habitat and invasive species are great topics and you can most likely point out examples within an arm’s reach.

10. Open Mind

In an effort to create a positive experience for both of you don’t have high expectations on how the day will go. The first time I took my daughter out fishing it took me 20 minutes just to get her to hold the rod and we were done fishing 5 minutes after that. Instead, we went for a walk along the shore and fed chipmunks. The funny thing about that experience was that she talked about fishing and not the chipmunks for a few weeks after.

11. Reflect

You may only get in one sentence before your fishing buddy is fast asleep in the back, but that’s ok. Sometimes actions speak louder than words.

12. If All Else Fails

Check out our “Meet the Fish” page to read interesting facts about some popular North American fish and download one or all of our coloring pages. Don’t forget to share your creation with us on social media @snotrocketfish.

 

Snotty Celebrates - Part 2!

By The Snot Rocket Gang
on December 08, 2016

Snotty Celebrates - Part 2!

We found so many wonderful ideas for a fishing-themed party, we decided to share more of them in second blog post! Read on for ideas on how to make your next birthday party one to remember!

Invite:

Why not use the invitations to get going on the theme? These fisherman vest invitations are adorable and leave lots of room for creativity. You can even use your printable fish drawings for the fish in the pocket! Snotty, Pumpkin, Kahuna, Bucket Mouth, Skippy, and Wild Eyes would love to be featured!

A little simpler, this bobber invitation packs just as much punch. Use the red half circle to fold open and closed to hide party details. (Photo from The Magic of Ordinary Things)

Decorate:

These fishing nets make a great display for child’s photos or even colouring pages guests colour in at the party. Use a variety of sizes of net to break up the space, and hang photos with clothespins to keep with the rustic feel.

Sweets:

This fish cake is easier to make than it looks - because it’s made of cupcakes and one round cake! Have your child choose their favourite colours and simply dye the icing to make a custom-coloured fish! This beauty of this cake is that it can be decorated as easy or as complicated as you’d like. (Tutorial from My Cake School)

Whether it’s Pond Punch or Lake Water, don’t let the name fool you - this drink is delicious! Combine 2 litres of gingerale, 1 can of frozen lemonade, 1 large can of pineapple juice and 1 quart of lime sherbet. (Photo from Kara’s Party Ideas)

Play:

This take on “Pin the Tail on the Donkey” is a great way to incorporate a classic party game into a fishing-themed day! Print little “hooks” and attach double-sided tape for the activity. This is also another opportunity to use any favourite fish you child has, or perhaps one that they plan to catch on a fishing trip in the near future! (Photo from The Magic of Ordinary Things)

We’d love to see your take on these party ideas, so post your photos online and tag us so we’re sure not to miss them! Happy celebrating!

Snotty Celebration Ideas

By The Snot Rocket Gang
on November 17, 2016

Snotty Celebration Ideas

Have a child’s birthday coming up? With so many aspects to plan, sometimes just choosing a theme can be difficult.

Fishing makes a great motif, as it works all year long and can incorporate your child’s favourite colours, fun games, and interactive snacks. Best of all, it can be adjusted to different age groups to include activities for older or younger siblings and cousins.

We’ve got you covered with ideas to make this year’s birthday party the best one yet!

Decorate:

Bobber Lanterns

These bobbers provide light and some colour to the room! Plain paper lanterns can be found at your local dollar store, and all you need to do is paint the bottom half red. Make these the weekend before and get your family involved! (Example by Sand and Sisal)

Seaweed Walls

Let your kids feel like they’re under the water with the fish by decorating your walls with green streamers. Twisting them slightly gives the illusion of seaweed swaying in the water, with the blue circles emulating air bubbles floating around. Encourage your kids to help decorate by drawing their own construction paper fish and including it in the scenery. (Example by Mortashed Medley)

Sign Post

Create the feeling of a small fishing village with signs pointing out all the hot spots. Draw your own or get printable ones, like these from AnnaMarie Design on Etsy.

Eat:

Live Bait Dessert Cups

We love these dessert cups because they act as a decoration and a snack! These are made with chocolate pudding and crushed Oreo cookies, but you could substitute in your child’s favourite flavour, or even a fruit salad at the bottom. The gummy worms on top add a fun pop of colour! (Example from Kara’s Party Ideas)

Candy Station in a Tackle Box

If you’re planning on a candy station (or any kind of snack station), a tackle box is a great way to lay out the treats for party guests. If you have several smaller tackle boxes, you could fill each with a different type of snack and choose ones that are less sugary (ie. chips in one, crackers in another, cookies in the next, etc.).

Pretzel Fishing Rods

These pretzel fishing rods are adorable! While these treats require a bit more make-ahead time than some of the other options, they can add so much to the decor and feel of the room! These are dipped in white chocolate that was tinted blue, but you could also do yogurt or caramel! Gummy fish also work as a great alternative to goldfish crackers. (Example from Catch My Party)

Play:

Fish Puppets

Get the kids’ creativity flowing at the party with this quick and easy craft! These handprint fish puppets can be as simple or as intricate as you have the supplies for! Have a few adults on hand to help the children trace and cut their handprint, then let them run wild with googly eyes, stickers, sequins, and markers. After the party is over, guests can take these home and use them as puppets! (Example from Southern Made Simple)

Colouring Pages

We haven’t met a kid yet who didn’t like a good colouring page with markers or crayons. Head over to our Meet the Fish page and download some great pages for the party! Because these are real species of fish like snapjack tuna and walleye, they also serve to teach the guests about fishing!

Paper Plate Fish Aquarium

This craft requires a bit more preparation (depending on the age of the guests), but the payoff is a great art piece kids can be proud of and display at home! Pull together some fish cut-outs, green pipe cleaners, blue paper plates (or white ones and have the kids colour them in), white beans, and glue. For these items, bottled white glue works best.  (Example from Director Jewels)

We hope we’ve been able to provide you with inspiration for your next birthday celebration. Have any foolproof party ideas you rely on? Share with us in the comments below and post pictures of your next fishing-themed soiree!

Fish Tales: The Best Books on Fishing Fun for Kids

By The Snot Rocket Gang
on September 08, 2016

Fish Tales: The Best Books on Fishing Fun for Kids

September 8th is International Literacy Day! To celebrate, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite books to inspire a love of fishing in little ones. Head on over to your local bookstore or public library today and scoop up some of these great reads for story time tonight.

1. The Berenstain Bears Gone Fishin'! by Mike Berenstain

 Go fishing with your favorite family of bears with this delightful classic! In this book, Papa Bear is excited to take Brother, Sister, and Honey on a family fishing adventure. During their trip, Papa shares his knowledge and expertise with his children. The Berenstain Bears: Gone Fishin'! is a Level One I Can Read book, which means it's perfect for children learning to sound out words and sentences.

 2. Lana’s World: Let's Go Fishing! by Erica Silverman

While Lana may not get visit the docks in this book, she does conjure up a fantastic fishing adventure in her imagination! In this way, Erica Silverman both inspires a love of fishing and encourages children to play imaginatively! Let’s Go Fishing! is a Level Two book, with an engaging story, longer sentences, and language play for developing readers who still need a little bit of help.

3. One Frozen Lake by Deborah Jo Larson

Deborah Jo Larson’s One Frozen Lake celebrates her childhood spent on frozen lakes through the engaging story of a boy and his grandpa. Though the pair fish all day, they don’t catch anything until the very end of their trip, which beautifully illustrates the role patience plays in fishing. While it might seem like ice fishing may not be a great match for kids, Larson’s book suggests that this unique Northern pastime holds special magic for young child. Aside from the heartwarming story, the book comes alive with the award-winning illustrations of children's book artists Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher. Ultimately, One Frozen Lake tells of a tradition being passed from one generation to the next, a tradition that encourages spending unhurried time together sharing winter's gifts—and creating precious memories that last long after the ice melts.

4. Gone Fishing: A Novel in Verse by Tamera Will Wissinger

Tamera Will Wissinger’s Gone Fishing: A Novel in Verse tells the story of nine-year old Sam, a young boy who loves to fish with his dad. Much to Sam’s dismay, his pesky little sister, Lucy, worms her way into the father-son fishing trip. However, as this book of poems progresses, readers are drawn into a story of a father-son bond and sibling harmony, making it the perfect book for readers with a burgeoning interest in angling.

5. Little Critter: Just Fishing With Grandma by Gina Mayer

If you’re a fan of the Little Critter’s series by Gina Mayer, you’ll love this book! In Just Fishing with Grandma, Little Critter® goes fishing with his adventurous grandma. This book teaches young children that it doesn’t matter how many fish they catch, as long as they make the most of their family fishing trip.

Other honorable mentions: Click, Clack, Splish, Splash: A Counting Adventure, The Great Googly Moogly, Bear and Hare Go Fishing and FISH.

Five Life Lessons Kids Learn Through Fishing

By The Snot Rocket Gang
on June 23, 2016

Five Life Lessons Kids Learn Through Fishing

For many, going fishing is a nostalgic tradition that dates back to early childhood. It brings back memories of being near water, spending time with family and learning the tricks of an angler. Beyond being a great way to discover, explore and have fun outdoors, the sport of fishing offers many things besides the satisfaction of a big catch.

1. Planning & Organization

Although at first glance, fishing seems to be a simple task: throw a rod in the water and wait. But with some organizing ahead of time, like gathering lures, rods, packing lunches, and planning out the best fishing spots, you may find your luck increase. This is good practice to show your child that the best outcomes are the result of a solid plan.

2. Patience

The excitement of catching a fish doesn’t come without the torture of the long periods of waiting. This is perhaps why some people don’t like fishing, but for those of us more patient folk, the intense and random bursts of excitement make it all worth it. Fishing is a great lesson in understanding that good things come to those who wait.

3. Respecting Nature

Being mindful of the fish we catch and the nature we disrupt is crucial to our children’s future on this planet. It’s important to know the rules when we aren’t fishing “catch and release” style.  Knowing that we are keeping the right fish, the right amount and never taking more than we need is a good lesson to learn early on. Fostering environmentally conscious adults is the result of appreciating nature as children. A better understanding will help conserve fish species for generations to come.

4. Unplugging from Technology

It may seem like an impossible battle to keep your children off the iPad these days, but there’s no time for games when your fishing! Fishing is a great way to get kids to put down the technology and embrace the fun that nature has to offer. The enjoyment from the sun on your face, and water beneath your feet will long surpass the high of achieving more followers on Twitter.

5. Practice makes Perfect

Fishing is a great example of this, where discovering the right places, techniques, weather, time and bait will help determine what works and what doesn’t. Learning that giving up isn’t an option, and that persistence and practice will deliver the best results, is an invaluable skill to learn as a child.

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Fish Feed

How to get Kids Hooked on F...

May 09, 2017

Even for the seasoned angled, introducing fishing to a child can be a little daunting. Below are a few tips...

Read more →