The connection formed between a parent and a child during a fishing outing stays with you for the rest of your life. Those quiet moments spent along the shore or on the water give your child an experience that they’ll replicate with their children and so on for generations. Be sure to stay safe while creating these memories using these helpful tips on fishing with children.
guest post by: Adam Brown of Cast For Fish
Tip 1: Protection
Hats and sunglasses are great examples of staying safe. Any hooks that may come flying via miscasts will bounce off sunglasses. And nobody wants to be blinded by the sun glares bursting from the water. Protect your neck, face, and eyes from sun exposure with a bucket hat. The sun’s rays can be brutal near the water so a solid sunscreen and reapplications throughout the excursion are appropriate.
Tip 2: Hooks and Equipment
Introducing your child to the dangers posed by hooks is important to do before you head out to fish. Fish hooks are sharp and cause damage to both the fisherman and their clothes. Kids can familiarize themselves with the tools prior to fishing in order to understand the possible dangers. Modeling safe handling is crucial as children will mimic what they see. Same goes for proper equipment – try telescopic rods that are kid-friendly and light, rather than using your usual heavy lifters.
Tip 3: First Aid
A proper fishing first aid kit includes antibiotic ointments, insect repellent, radio, water, flashlights, bandages, and pain relief medication. Being prepared for any medical situation is invaluable.
Tip 4: Safe Locations
Avoid any potential hazards when looking for a safe spot to fish. River looks like it’s running fast…think twice. Fishing pier look sketchy? Find another spot. Keep children close and scope out areas if you OK them to venture out on their own. It’s not an inconvenience to find a great place that’s safe and full of fish.
Tip 5: Casting
Casting is another huge area of concern for a lot of parents. Teaching children to look around them prior to casting is essential. Demonstrate a bubble around you and say that if anything is near or comes near this sphere, do not cast. Kids will pick up on these cues immediately.
Tip 6: Hydration
The excitement of the day and of the experience can be overwhelming. We can lose track of time and get caught up in the fishing. DO NOT FORGET WATER. This is super important to parents and especially children. The sun drains energy from your body. Keep up by drinking water before the trip, during, and after the trip. For even more protection, brings drinks that help to replenish electrolytes.
Tip 7: Fish Safety
Hey! You caught a fish but some have spiky barbs or other protections against handling. Using fish gloves or handling the fish yourself after the child catches it are great options here.
Tip 8: Flotation
If you’re fishing in a boat, kayak, canoe, or other water vehicle be sure that children have a properly fitting life jacket. Verify that it has been US Coast Guard approved. Give a friendly reminder that when the boat is in motion, stay seated and they’ll stay safe. You never know when a wake or wave might occur.
Staying safe while fishing should be as much a part of your experience as the actual fishing. Kids will imitate our behaviors; it’s prudent that we model the behavior we wish them to use. It’s important for parents to not forget about their own safety. If you’re aware and keeping safe, your child will pick up on it. Use these tips to stay safe when fishing with children.
BIO: Adam is an avid fisher and editor of the website CastForFish. Adam aspires to help out fellow anglers or newbies who’d like to learn a bit about this great hobby. For that reason, he shares some insights and tips via his site and hopes to inspire people to take up fishing.