The most meaningful trips aren’t the ones you catch a trophy or a ton of fish. The unforgettable outings are the times you help someone you love catch fish.
I remember the time my 11-year-old daughter caught her first big redfish. She was screaming “Daddy, Daddy help it’s so strong.” She was so excited when we finally got the fish in the net, I know she will remember it forever.
I take joy in going out alone on my Hobie® kayak, of fishing where and when I want. Sharing the sport we love with our families is just as rewarding. Here are a few helpful tips that can lead to successful trips with family members who might not get out on the water as much as we do.
Don’t always try to target trophy fish, especially with kids less than 10 years of age. Most kids have a very short attention span. If they aren’t catching fish, they get bored. Target fish that are very easy to catch on their first couple trips out.
Don’t take kids out in rough or extreme conditions. If they get scared they might not be willing to give it a try the next time. Once you have taken them out a couple of times and got them on some easy, fun fish then you can slowly start trying to get them on a trophy.
Start off with shorter trips. Save the full day adventure for another time. Three to 4 hours is about right. Make sure you bring extra snacks and drinks to keep your family members comfortable. Ensure they have PFDs that fit properly.
Avoid using lures that have trebles hooks. Kids especially can get over excited and I’m sure you wouldn’t want a treble hook stuck in your head or body.
Keep them engaged. Pass off the rod when you hook a fish. Let them reel it in. It is great way to help them learn how to fight a fish when they just can’t seem to hook one. Don’t be selfish. Pass that rod off! Take the time and teach them about the fish you are catching and let them take a close look at the fish while explaining their features. It also is a great idea to teach them the proper handling techniques.
Trust me, if you follow these guidelines you will be rewarded with big smiles and memories that will last forever. You might just end up with a fishing partner for life.
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