Teaching kids to fish is an important way to make sure that fishing and conservation is passed down to the next generation. Most kids love to fish if they have a good positive experience, plus most fishing regulations don’t require kids to have a license. Here are some suggestions on how to make sure kids learn important fishing skills.
First, and most important, remember the goal is a positive experience for the child. This means that you may not fish at all. If your kids learn to love fishing you'll have a fishing partner the rest of your life, so giving up a few years when they’re young is just an investment in the future.
Teaching a child to fish is easier on a calm lake. For safety, it's best to fish on the shore. The shore should be level and gently sloping down, getting deeper as it goes. The water about four feet out should be no deeper than waist deep on the child. That way when they dash out into the water, and they will, you have a few seconds to grab them before they are in over their heads.
You should buy kid size fishing equipment. The short rods and plastic reels are a good way to get kids started. They will also double as an ice fishing rod for you in the winter.
Fishing with worms, crickets and salmon eggs and a small fish hook size are easy ways to begin. Show them how to cast but also help. Fishing with a barbless hook will make it much easier when the child hooks bushes, chairs, clothes or you. Remember you’re just playing fishing games.
Bring along a small kid size lawn chair so the child has a comfortable place to sit. Set your chair right beside your child and cast out your line equipped with just a sinker. That way you both can hold a rod but all the catching will be done by the child. Nothing is more discouraging to the kid, than having the adult catch all the fish.