Angler’s Mail HQ production editor Richard Holroyd explains how to get the kids to join you out on the bank at weekends, or during the holidays. Share the blog with friends on Facebook and Twitter by clicking icons above, or simply by telling people!
WITH half-term holidays here I’m thinking about things to do to occupy time with my children – Louis, aged 13, and Scarlet, nine (pictured above with a roach).
Of course, they have their own other interests now. But some of the time that we will spend together in future will include fishing and I’ve found it’s essential to follow a few basic rules to ensure they enjoy themselves, rather than wishing they’d be anywhere else than on the bank.
Here are my top 10 tips to make a kids fishing session a memorable one…
1. Bites aplenty
Fish waters that hold lots of fish and, therefore, produce plenty of bites. The last thing you want is to be sat behind rods on a rock-hard water waiting for a bite that may never happen, as they’ll be bored to tears.
2. Keep it simple
Keep rigs and tackle simple. A whip with a basic pole rig is a good starter, before moving onto short rods and small reels. There’s no need for the latest chod rig at this stage!
3. Keep it short
Aim to fish for two hours maximum. I often find that interest levels can drop, especially if bites dry up, so aim to fish for a few hours and treat any extra time as a bonus.
4. Size doesn’t matter
Don’t fish a water that has big fish as they will be massively unprepared to deal with them. A water that holds small fish gives them the opportunity to learn how to play, hold and unhook fish in a manageable way.
5. Don’t fish yourself
Don’t expect to be fishing yourself, as you’ll need to devote your attention solely to them.
6. Let them make mistakes
Kids are going to make lots of mistakes but it’s all part of the learning process. Make light of any errors as fishing is supposed to be fun. The last thing you want to do is be critical, as they’ll soon start losing interest. Sit back, relax and wait until they ask for advice or for you to untangle the inevitable tangles!
7. Encouragement and fun
Give them lots of encouragement and share their joy when they catch fish. You’ll often find that you get more enjoyment watching them catch than when you catch fish yourself.
8. Bring a picnic
Break up the fishing session and enjoy a picnic. A bit of food and drink, and a rest from fishing, can often reinvigorate their enthusiasm.
9. Take a catapult
Who needs games consoles when you’ve got a catapult! Get them firing out freebies, preferably around the float, and it’ll keep them entertained.
10. Seaside sport
If you are planning on a holiday to the seaside during the warmer months, don’t forget to take a travel rod and a few bits of tackle. It can offer kids a couple of hours of entertainment and gives you a welcome break from helping them build sandcastles. Fish a quiet beach – trying to fish a populated beach with holidaymakers is a non-starter for obvious reasons.
You don’t have to fish a commercial fishery as rivers also offer some wonderful sport in stunning natural locations.