After several years fishing The Bay Of Quinte and studying fish behavior and habitat (mostly walleye) I have come to realize that I have been so focused on trying to create a successful guiding service, that I have almost missed out on a very important part of my children’s education. Getting MY kids involved in the fishing world. I find it can be very rewarding, not just for them but for me as well. I wanted to talk about the pro’s of getting kids involved in the fishing world and what it means.
WHAT YOU ARE ACTUALLY TEACHING YOUR KIDS WHEN FISHING TOGETHER:
1 – you are connecting your children to the out doors, creating life skills and learning about our history.
By taking your children fishing you are getting them off the couch and into the outdoors. Teaching them a basic survival technique which I personally believe, all Canadians should know, and experience, at some point in ones life. Fishing is a part of our Canadian heritage and teaching a child to fish is a very natural & rewarding activity.
2 – you teach how to appreciate others for who they are not what they achieve
It is easy for parents to be consumed with having their child playing all the sports and joining all the clubs they can to gain a competitive edge. Yes, you do spend time with your kid in the car from one club/team to the next, and they do learn valuable skills, but I don’t believe that this is quality time spent together. As a parent, you still need the one on one time with your kids, and that doesn’t mean cheering at them from the side lines, it means connectivity, 1 on 1. Giving undivided attention while waiting for that fish to bite or walking the shore, side by side, which lets your child know they didn’t have to win the game for you to be invested in them.
3- Fishing teaches co-ordination, safety, decision making skills, and much more .
Each day is different than the last, offering a new lesson. Learning together to read weather conditions, habitat, water conditions, opens up great discussions bout lure and line selection. Hand and eye co-ordination is strengthened when precision casting, you can visually see your improvement each time you get closer to the target you actually aimed for. Knot tying is a wonderful skill for co-ordination and life in general. Water safety is a given, but also learning how to work safely with sharp objects. Safety in the wilderness is a lesson that can be geared differently to different age groups. The more you and your child do all of this together the better you will become as anglers and the stronger your bond will become with your children.
4- Teaching conservation
Teaching the importance of conservation is an imperative part of the entire fishing experience. On a basic level it is a great introduction to why society has structure, but more importantly it shows how our actions today have reactions in the future.
Teaching proper water, boat ramp, and shore fishing safety & etiquette are just as important as teaching habitat protection, waste disposal, and proper techniques on CPR (catch Photo, Release). It would be naive to think that fishing & boating does not have its impacts on its environment. I encourage everyone to take a visit to the following links so we are teaching our kids etiquette and conservation and have the answers to the questions they may come up with.
Proper handling of fish (OFAH standards) http://www.ontarioanglerawards.com/Hold.cfm
For musky check on Facebook and type in this URL https://www.facebook.com/PeteMaina/videos/10156984287405627/
Boating Etiquette and safety practices http://realmuskoka.com/muskoka-steamships/boating-etiquette-and-best-practices-before-you-set-sail/
A few do’s and do-not’s to start with http://1source.basspro.com/index.php/component/k2/237-fishing-info/1120-6-dos-and-donts-of-fishing-etiquette
Also, remember when river fishing, if its busy around you, don’t cast over someone’s line. If someone else hooks into a fish reel up to avoid tangles and arguments.
If you are introducing a youngster to the world of fishing then remember children have little patience and get board easily. So try not to over do it because YOU may want to continue fishing. If you make children fish for longer than they want to, they will loose interest quickly and will not want to go again. In our family we have two terms ‘daddy fishing’ and ‘family fishing’. Daddy fishing equates to more then eight hours, family fishing usually tops out at three hours. You may be a patient angler but remember this skill when it comes to the children. If you are patient with them at the start, then you will have a fishing partner for life.
If this venture sounds like it is for you and your kids, remember you do not have to spend a fortune. It is about the time shared and the relationship you are creating. You can start at the dollar store to get your kid a little tackle box, and move to your local Canadian Tire to pick up an inexpensive rod and reel combo. I do advise you pick up new line, as the one that is often spooled on the reel is poor quality and not worth the headache (you will also then know what is on it). Pick up some basic lures, hooks, bobbers, and sinkers and a fishing licence. Garage sales are great this time of year for cheap finds. You can minimize your purchases if you do your homework and know what type of fish is your local area. Feel free to message me on lure ideas for specific species if you don’t know where to begin. If you were to buy two set ups, all new, you will be investing about $80 – $150. Then all you need to do is drive or walk to a lake nearby, walk the bank, cast a line, and watch the smiles roll in 🙂
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