When you first start keep it simple! Use live bait and fish for whatever will bite. Shoot for a lot of action over size and praise, praise, PRAISE! It can be easy to get frustrated – they will tangle rods, they will be impatient, they will want to take breaks. Remain positive and make it about having fun. Bring a dip net and let them catch frogs, small minnows, and even a turtle. If the weather is nice and it is safe to do so let them get in the water.
Also teach about water safety and conservation. Safety goes without saying, but teaching about conserving our resources is of upmost importance. Each time I take the kids we try to spend some time cleaning up and collecting as much trash as possible. If they learn early to leave the resource better then they found it we all win!
All kids are different so make sure to remember to make it about them. My two for example are very different…. My 10 year old son has a lot of fun fishing, but it is usually for brief spurts. I would never think of bringing him out on a boat or on an all-day float down the Elkhorn. With him it is wading a creek or to a lake to shore fish, where there are ample opportunities to play and have fun. He loves to catch fish, but 10 minutes later he would rather be playing in the woods or splashing across the creek looking for animal bones. My 7 year old daughter on the other hand can hang with many a die-hard fisherman. She has always been like that and has accompanied me on the boat and now in the kayak since she was a very little girl. She won the youth division and her own kayak during the River Bassin’ trail stop on the Elkhorn Creek this past August and the YakAngler crew that participated can attest she could have gone on for a few more hours even though us adults were beat.
Take the time to give back and take a kid fishing. You won’t be disappointed!!! Show them a good time, and kids will put fishing and the outdoors on top of their list of activities.
About the Author: Joe Maione is an avid fisherman and is a Pro Staff Member at Yakangler.com. He is addicted to kayak fishing and spending time with his son and daughter in the outdoors. Joe considers himself a novice writer and photographer.