It’s almost selfish, but short of winning the Bassmaster Classic, taking a child fishing is one of the most rewarding things I get to do as an angler. Take a kid fishing and everything from learning to cast, to watching nature, to catching a fish puts a child on cloud nine and builds lifelong memories. To be a part of this is an amazing experience for an angler. It’s important to me to pass on the greatness of fishing to our younger generation, lucky for me it is fun.
Every weekend our kids watch us hook up to the boat and take off to some mysterious, faraway place. We come back telling stories of fun times, big ones that got away, and pictures of the ones we caught. Our children or grandchildren patiently dream about the day they will get to go fishing. To the kids in our lives, even a local mud hole is a mysterious place filled with fun, excitement, and fishing.
It’s easy to say, “I promise I’ll take you fishing!” However, day after day, things get in the way. Everything from our jobs, household chores or bad weather can put a damper on the most devoted. Children rarely understand the peripheral reasons, putting the trip off can be heartbreaking. Once promised, we as parents or grandparents must do everything in our power to take them fishing. A fishing trip does not have to be an all-day event; just a couple hours can be all it takes.
For a child, the total experience pegs the excitement and fun meters, so don’t leave anything out. While its habit, even mundane for us, getting ready to go is part of the fun. Include your young angler by talking about the area you’ll fish, getting tackle ready, packing snacks. Make sure to put on sunscreen and make sure the life jacket fits. All these things are part of the experience and very exciting for a child. Even stopping to get a can of soda and bag of chips along the way can be a special moment adding to the memories your child will have.
I’m fortunate; I’ve had the opportunity to take many children on their first fishing trip. There are many lessons I’ve learned along the way, but the biggest one is even a day without many catches is still a great day fishing. Do your part and take a child fishing. If you don’t have children in your family, it’s easy to find them. Look at boys and girls clubs or other organizations supporting area children. Adults often don’t have time or just don’t fish, taking a coworkers child or neighbor’s child could change a life. If you look around, I’m sure there are many children in your life needing a little direction, why not point them in the direction of fishing.
It’s summertime; the kids are getting bored, and boredom usually means trouble. Take this summer and change the lives of those around you. Take a Kid fishing. It doesn’t look like I’ll ever win the Bassmaster Classic, so it’s time to take the grandbabies to the lake!