As a Dad, I want my kids to enjoy fishing as much as I do. I suppose in a way to recreate the memories I had with my Dad and make some new ones along the way. What I found hard, was how to get them into it. Children’s attention span isn’t great and they need to be kept stimulated around a lake/river.
I knew a long carp session on a lake wasn’t going to work for me and we would all end up frustrated at some point. So, this is how I done it (I think). I arranged with my Dad when he was fishing to pop over to what lake he was at, so they could have a go. First, we took a little telescopic rod, which quickly become a complete nightmare. One minute you’re in a tree, then the line is all wrapped around the rod and to top it off, a foot ends up in the water etc, you get what I mean.
I then went to the local tackle shop and bought a £10 pole and rigs already made up (amazing). So, I’m ready. Little tackle box with all the essentials in, net & carp mat, maggots, ground bait, two chairs and lunch. We are off. Got to my dad and we set up, I show them what to do from start to finish. I do it like a check list.
Find a nice swim (no trees lol), chuck a small bit of ground bait out with some maggots. Whilst that’s hopefully doing its job. I then put the rod rests in and set up the rods. All kids at first are mesmerised when you put the maggots on the hook. I always call it the bum end in between the two black dots. Hook straight in and three mags on always (just me).
Then it’s the gentle cast out, not far and we are fishing. No tangles and I can hear the birds in the back ground. A few more mags out and they are loving it. 3 hours later and 74 fish (Roach, Bream, small commons and a Cat) between them, I have two very happy kids. They loved every minute of it. They learned how to handle the fish, how to remove a hook safely and what the fish were.
I find three hours is plenty of time, just to be fishing with them is good enough for me. See when I go fishing with the kids, I don’t fish. I want it to be about them. The amazing photos and memories we are making is enough for me anyway. Plus, if you’re at a lake with no toilet and you have a fussy daughter who doesn’t always like a wild wee lol. Then three hours is plenty.
A few years on and the two youngest who are 9 and 7, are more than confident in fishing. We still have our off days, but that’s life and we deal with it. They even sometimes go back to their first pole rods and that’s fine as long as they are fishing. Great to see kids fishing, keeping the sport and hobby alive.