July 11

Fishing With Kids

Hello, this is Dwight Norris, from fishingatwork.com here on the Charles River and today we're gonna talk about fishing with kids. Particularly fishing with my son. Yesterday we went fishing at a place called Cutler Park. It was partially Cutler Park and partially Nahanton park, which are both in Newton, Massachusetts. Cutler Park is actually a fairly large pond.

It takes about half an hour or more to walk around and then next to it is an upper part of the Charles River, which I haven't fished before. They're supposed to be small mouth bass and pike and some other species that aren't in the lower part of the actual river which is closer to the ocean. I think there's a series of like 15 or more dams that go down and they separate many of the species that are in the river. So I said, hey, let's try a new place out to go fishing with kids.

Fishing For Kids

So my son is four years old and he's a little advanced especially because he loves fishing a lot. Some people they're trying to get their kids fishing for the first time. And you know, they don't really know much or how to hold a rod and reel or what a rod and reel is, how to make it function, what to do or really anything. So when you fishing with kids for the first time, you have to remember, you have one goal.

Your one single goal is to make sure it's fun. Why? Because if it's not fun for many children they'll quit immediately. This pretty goes for any activity. If you try to push it upon them, then most likely they won't want to do it anymore. They'll have an improper response to this activity in their mind and they'll just shut down. They will think things like, oh no, no I don't want to go fishing anymore. No. That one time was it. No, that was not cool. That was not fun. I don't see fishing with kids being fun. I see it being hard and not fun. So they'll stop.

Kids Fishing Trip Ideas
Kids Fishing Trip Ideas
Fishing For Kids

So your main goal is to make it fun. How do you make fishing with kids fun? Well, obviously you want to catch a fish. You don't have to have them catch the first fish. You can get their rod and reel setup. You can show them a rod and reel and they can play around with it. You know you can cast it in for them.

Even the old hook and bobber with the wait for the fish method. The fish pretty much hook themselves. Hopefully the fish doesn't swallow the hook like it did for my son. We didn't have a bobber and he's still not good at feeling the fish bite particularly. This happens mostly because he's not really paying attention to the fishing line and watching the environment.

That's cool. He's having fun and when that happens kids may hook a fish. They may freak out. They might not want to reel it in. They may even let go of the fishing rod and it falls in water. Just be cool! It's okay because your fishing with kids. Say, "Hey, you caught a fish". Help them reel it in. You can hold it in their hands with them and help them reel it in.

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click and see and feel the motion of it takes how to reel in the fish and then it comes out. Show them the fast, you know what it flapped around. They're going to love it. Oh, that's crazy. Oh, this is so much fun. After you get the fish off the hook, place to your place, to a fishing system over to the left and then take the fish and present the fish to them.

You can say, "do you want to hold the fish? Do you want to take a picture with the fish? Do you want us to send the picture to mommy or daddy or anybody else like your friends". They will say I caught a fish. The first fish of my life. first fish in this location or the biggest fish. It doesn't really matter when your fishing with kids, but help them learn this is cool. This is fun. I'm holding a fish.

This is something you don't do very often unless you have an aquarium and you're trying to sneak your hand in there, which I've seen before. Share it with your friends so when they go to school they will have something to talk about. I don't know if they do this anymore in school. but the old you know, Show and Tell day. They can say here's a picture of me and my dad when we were fishing and here's a video.

Here's a picture as well. My dad showed it to my aunt and my mom and it has me holding the fish. This is a super huge fish like a perch, but it was my first fish I've ever caught. Stuff like that. Get them interacted with people around them, their family, their friends, and they'll start to see that there's value in this sport. See fishing with kids is fun.

Children Fishing

I would say a couple of months time start to show them things to get them closer to being proficient themselves. So I would suggest you start with one thing at a time. That advise is really for anybody, for anything, anything you're learning. There's a book called "The One Thing" and it proclaims though this huge thick book a single idea.

You're only able to fully focus and give 100 percent of something if you focus on one thing. If you do more than than one thing, you don't give all to one or the other and you become less proficient or even not efficient enough to actually reach your goals.

So we want to reach our fishing with kids goal. You should focus on one thing and become an expert at that and then move to the next. And you should do that when you're teaching your child how to do something. So the first thing you could talk about it, this may be something really fun like getting a worm and putting the worm on the hook safely without hooking yourself.

That's a very important thing to do because you don't want to do that all the time. Do you know if fishing with kids was fun? They don't have any more fun doing it. And they're like, oh, I want to get the worm, I want to play with the worms. Awesome. Cool. Let them do that. They slide out.

You might lose a couple. As long as they're having fun. It's a good thing. So you can start off with the hook. You can start off with getting the right tension on the line so that when there's a bite, if you don't even have to bother, they'll know that they have a bite. This is not the time to try lures like in my post Do Fishing Lures Really Work.

If it's not something that takes it and rips it and like pulls the rod out of there hand. That that's fun for anybody who's fishing and not every fish is like that. Sometimes you might get a fish that does slowly nibbles on something until it's all the way down it's stomach.

Then you're gonna have to try and get it out safely. There's blood everywhere and you have to explain that. You don't want to do that and you don't want to harm the fish. So be attentive when you're teaching your child how to fish because you will end up in situations like that and having to show extra care.

Fishing With My Son

You don't have to explain more situations and you need to want to focus on fishing, not on other things. Once that's done, you can do more detailed things like how to cast. I've started this recently. There's several different ways to teach them a very hard thing.

There are tools I've seen around like the Zebco velcro fish. Where something has like a fish that has velcro on it and it has and you throw those out in the yard and then you have a casting crank bait with no hooks on it.

They get to cast it and try to catch the velcro fish. Then they'll work on their casting. They'll work on the overhead cast, side cast, and the flip cast or the Mr Crappie shooter cast thing. They'll try different ways to try to get it there. also when they're trying to get a particular fish to be working on their aim, which is honestly more important than this.

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Learning how to cast can come pretty easily. I have a spinning rod for my son, but I have heard the spincast reels are easier. You'll have more fun. I would suggest those to start if you had them, but I didn't get one.

I got him a Zebco Dock Demon, which was a spin cast reel, super small, actually smaller than my collapsible rod and functions very well. You probably saw it in my first couple of videos before I got my collapsible rod.
I told him my three step method, so I'll teach you in here. Sorry about the sirens. There is an ambulance going by. 

  1. Step one is I show them how to do the grip and he puts his finger, a single index finger on the fishing line. So he's holding it tight. So that if you released the bail, which is step two the line doesn't fall out and the bait goes to the ground, so he's holding it.
  2. Step two. He opens the bail. Step two is complete.
  3. Step three is pulling it back behind you where the rod is pointing behind you and then throwing it side cast until it's level with your body.

 I call it, I forgot what I call it. I just pointed to a spot. I mean he's just right here. When the rod reaches the spot let go the line and that pretty much guarantees with a quarter ounce weight, it's going to go about 10 feet, which is more than ample enough for a small child to reach a Pan Fish, which is always on the shore pretty much during the summer.

Lo and behold, he tries one, two, three right in the water. It went in. He was super happy jumping all over the place saying "I made a cast, I made a cast". I was like, "that's awesome man. You did it. You did the three steps. Good job". I was so proud and the even funnier thing is he caught a fish in that cast. I was like, wow, that's serendipitous. Pretty cool. The system works and I just made it up. I made it up right there on the spot.

Fishing With My Son

Kayak Fishing With Kids

I was not planning to teach them how to fish that moment. So I was like, okay, we gotta think about how this actually works really fast. I'm like, I hold my line, open the thing and I cast, so maybe that's the three steps. Can I teach them with three steps? Am I making it too complicated?

Three steps is pretty easy, but there's some smaller steps in between, but I think he'll get the gist of it because he's seen me cast a lot and watched a lot of fishing shows as well. When a kid enjoys watching fishing shows and is not asking you to turn to the cartoon network or PBS Kids.

that means they probably want to go fishing and you should take them fishing. That's a little tip from me to you. If he doesn't forget when you turn it to the fishing channel, you need to go fishing with kids a lot. Get them out there, get them out there. I'm sure they'll love it.

So those are the main things I want to talk about. I didn't realize I wanted to get an actual kayak or canoe. I wanted to get a canoe that day because we were right next to like the Charles River Canoe and Kayak place where they rent them. I was like, no, we got some time. Maybe I can get him into a boat.

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I'll have to sweat my butt off because it's like 95 degrees and I have to use the paddles, but I can do that. It's good. First thing you know, he keeps talking about getting the boat so you can go fishing with kids. When he talks about it, he wants to go there. So now I'm like, oh, this is great.

we found a great spot. We took our shoes off and our sandals. We walked in the water. We could walk out like almost 30 yards without him getting his pants wet. I didn't want him to do that, but it was fun. It was hot, and to top it off and we caught a dozen fish. It was awesome.

Next time I know I need to get him on the boat, we need to go floating around, hit some areas, areas that we haven't been able to hit because we're on the shoreline. We're looking at all this grass and weeds and roots and we're like, we don't want any ticks on us. So yeah, I'll be getting that inflatable kayak very soon.

Boy Fishing From Shore

I've looked into getting the porta-bote. The ones that I've seen are either overpriced for buying used. I can almost get a new one for the same price or they're just totally beat up or just too small because I want a 12 or 14 footer for under a thousand dollars. I saw one and it was really beat up. I was almost about to buy it and it was really close too. It's like eight miles away. I'm like, I should really buy this and you know, I thought too long and it's gone now.

Now I am thinking it's going to be another year before I see that deal again. That was dumb. I should've bought it. My mistake won't make it again. So right now I'll be getting an inflatable kayak and doing some reviews on that and unboxing it on video and looking at other options and showing why I picked this one and why this one is the best.

So yeah, fishing with kids, fishing with your son, fishing with your daughter, fishing with your nephews, fishing with your nieces, fishing with your grandchildren. You can do this, you can help them out. Do you see it? The desire which I mentioned earlier? Get them out there. I think you'll be surprised how well they'll do and how well they'll take it and how much fun they could possibly have.

So remember to go to my youtube channel and subscribe. Go to the website, get your 10 steps to go fishing at work, pdf. It's available. It's there and it's free. So please grab that and make a comment. Contact me and tell me if you want something. Whether it's something's bad, whether something's good suggestions, really anything I want to hear about it. So this is Dwight Norris fishingatwork.com signing out.


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