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.