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Fishing with Kids

So you are going to take some kids fishing!  Either as an angler or interested adult, you want these kids to have fun.
Here are some common sense steps to follow:
  • Remember to make it a kid’s adventure. Consider whether you should concentrate only on fishing or whether it should be a more general outdoor aquatic experience – you might decide this based on the children’s age. Depending upon their age, allow time for wading in the water, skipping stones, catching frogs and other non-fishing activities. Make it a fun adventure so they will want to go "fishing" again.
  • If you fish, review basic skills to be prepared. Check your tackle. Don’t take along expensive tackle or heirlooms that you do not want damaged. Be prepared for your new fishing buddies by bringing along extra hats and caps, extra clothing if it gets cool, sunscreen, sunglasses, snacks, drinks, and anything else that will keep your crew comfortable.
  • If you do not fish, check with the staff of a friendly tackle shop for some tips, tricks and places to go.
  • When you fish, make sure that you have the proper license, and that you are fishing legally. If you are going to eat your catch, make sure that you are fishing in season and abide by the size and number limits for the species you catch.  These regulations are different for different provinces and can be quite different from one lake to another.  Click here to access the provincial guidelines online.
  • Use simple tackle. Children who have not fished before will have the most fun and less tangles with spincast tackle. You will have the least problems in fixing or untangling their gear. Spincast tackle allows casting by releasing a thumb button on the reel.
Here’s a check list to help you get ready for your fishing trip: 
  • Wear comfortable, appropriate clothing.
  • Bring sunglasses, sun screen and hats for sun protection.
  • Bring insect repellent and insect bite salve.
  • Include a small first aid kit.
  • Bring enough appropriate tackle for each person fishing.
  • If you plan to eat your catch, bring a cooler or stringer.
  • Include bait that is easy to get and use – worms, grasshoppers, crickets, grubs, caterpillars.
  • Include "picnic" food such as snacks, fruit, sandwiches, and fruit drinks or water.
  • If possible, fish near home so that the trip does not exhaust everyone before the fishing fun.
  • Bring and wear life preservers (PFD’s) when fishing from a boat, as well as for small children or those wading or swimming even if you’re not in a boat.
  • Do not take more children than you can easily supervise at any one time and make sure that a responsible adult is always watching the children.
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