Teach Your Kids How to Fish: It’s Easier Than You Think

Fishing with your kids is a great way to bond, enjoy the great outdoors, and teach valuable lessons. But how do you go about teaching them to fish in the first place? I’ve compiled a short article of tips to help you along the way. From finding the right approach to finding the right equipment, teaching your kids how to fish is fun and easier than you think. 

Get Appropriate Equipment

It can be challenging to teach kids how to fish without suitable equipment. So, the first thing you’ll want to do is get a fishing pole designed for kids.

Most children’s fishing poles have a simple design that’s easy to grasp– both mentally and physically. Plus, giving a child a new present can get him excited about using it, even if he doesn’t know how to use it yet.

One of our favorite fishing poles for kids is this one by OddsPro. It features bright, colorful designs, is lightweight, and perfectly sized for kids smaller hands and frames. It even comes with a tackle box filled with lures, hooks, bobbers, sinkers, and other fishing gear your little needs to get started. Its also available in multiple colors for boys and girls!

Once you show him the basics, you can have him practice in the yard or anywhere there’s room. To do this, you can tie a weight on the end of the line instead of a hook that will snag grass. Show your child how to cast sidearm at first, as that’s usually the safest way to learn. Once he gets the hang of it in the yard, you can move to the water.

Choose a Suitable Location

Finding a suitable location to teach your kid how to fish is essential. You generally want to stay away from boats for the first several lessons. Choose a place that is easy to reach, provides level ground to stand on, and has little to no foliage to snag upon casting. Docks, shores, and clear spots beside gentle streams make great locations when teaching kids to fish.

Before you actually head out on the trip, you can share a little bit about the type of fish you’ll be looking to catch. You can pique your child’s interest by showing her videos of people catching the same kind of fish.

Try A Fishing With a Cane Pole

If you want to start easy, many places don’t require that you have a license if you’re fishing from shore or a dock with a cane pole. As you probably know, a cane pole is a length of wood with a line attached to it and a hook on the other end of the line. You can wrap the line around the end of the pole several times to secure it. Make sure the remaining line is at least the length of the pole. 

Attach a worm to the hook, drop it in the water, and your kid is bound to have a bite in no time. Cane poles are great for younger kids because there’s no complicated button or reel. It’s an easy way to introduce kids to fishing. It’s pretty easy to catch panfish with live bait on a cane pole, which is an excellent start for any young angler!

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Start Small and Easy

When considering where to fish and what to catch, try to make it easy and probably. If you can find a place that’s well-stocked with fish, even small ones, head there. Start the learning process by catching small fish. Of course, you can’t guarantee anything when it comes to fishing. However, giving your kid the best shot at catching a fish or two is a great way to teach. After all, we learn by doing.

At first, try not to keep the trips too long. Fishing for a couple of hours is enough for most kids. As time goes by, you can increase your fishing time. But at first, keep it short and sweet. 

Use Bobbers and Bait

Fishing with a bobber provides kids with something to watch. They can pay attention to the bobber and be ready for when it goes under the surface of the water. Live bait, combined with a bobber, often gives the best chance of catching a fish, making it great for your first outing.

A bobber can also teach kids what it feels like when a fish bites, which will be important when you move to lures and start fishing in streams, rivers, and oceans.  

Answer Questions But Don’t Force Them

Teaching kids to do anything requires walking a razor’s edge of too much and too little guidance. Many kids like to learn things on their own – until they don’t. So it’s best to be there when they need help. So let them make some mistakes and figure things out on their own. Answer questions when they have them and keep them on the right track, but don’t treat it like school. If you do, they’re bound to resist. 

Expect the Unexpected

Teaching kids to fish can be a little dangerous for everyone involved. The biggest thing you have to look out for is that pesky hook. That’s why it’s a good idea to teach her to begin by casting sidearm and looking over her shoulder every time.

It’s also a good idea to make sure she wears a life vest even if you’re only fishing from a shore or a dock. It’s always better to err on the side of caution.

Besides safety concerns, you can prepare for the unexpected by bringing plenty of fishing line, bait, and lures. Expect to lose more lures out of your tackle box than usual. Think of lost lures and line as an investment in your child’s fishing future. It’s all part of the teaching process. 

Explain Technique

Lastly, when teaching kids how to fish, don’t be afraid to explain some of your techniques. Once you teach the basics, you can start to expound on more complicated ideas and fishing strategies. At first, don’t expect too much. Merely talking about fishing with your child can lay the foundation for a lifelong habit.

In fact, talking about anything at all while you’re fishing can make for a great experience. It’s a time to bond and get to know each other. Your excitement about fishing can easily transfer to your child. On the same token, let your kid talk to you about anything and everything. Growing up can be tough, and fishing trips can be the best place to share advice and wisdom with your children.

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In Conclusion

As you can see, teaching your kids to fish is easier than you think. Start with the basics, and keep your sessions short. Make sure your kids have equipment that is easy for them to handle and choose a place where they can catch a few fish. Starting with bobbers and live bait is a good tactic. Don’t treat the outing like a chore or a test to be passed.

Let your kids learn at their own pace, and be there to answer any questions and provide positive reinforcement. Finally, make sure to be patient and enjoy the bonding time. Talk about fishing, life, or anything you want. Spending time together is an integral part of a family fishing habit


Justin Childress is the creator of Sunshineandplay.com. He is also a devoted husband and father of his 1 year old son Gabriel. Justin enjoys spending time with family, reading, and, of course, contributing to Sunshineandplay.com.

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