Fishing Gear for Kids

You take a kid fishing and you can turn them into fishing fanatics forever. It’s like teaching a person to fish, they can eat for a lifetime; buy them a fish, and they eat for a day. The key to having fun with kids is keeping it simple, which works better than those hi-tech gadgets and is a little easier on the budget. Here are some pointers and tips when taking the kids fishing, plus it’s easy on the wallet.

    Kids Fishing Gear Checklist 

1. Dress down. Wear loose clothes that dry quick. Usually play or work clothes will be fine, like old athletic clothes. Wear a hat.

2. Tackle box. Get some assorted tackle that they can be in charge of and take with them. Gives them self esteem, responsibility and plus it’s just really cool to have your own gear. Just has to be small, has a handle so you can tie it off, small assortment of hooks and bobbers.

3. Pack sunscreen, snacks and bottled water. Even juicees will work, it’s just important to stay hydrated in the summer.

4. Think about Tom Sawyer. It’s about keeping it simple, hook, line and sinker – or a bobber. You know what were talking about, we just want to catch’em, with kids it’s about catching them and having fun, they are all big.

5. The place. Find a place where you can easily access the water, if you own a boat, that’s great, but if not, try a local pier or shoreline where the kid can see the water and easily cast their line into. Avoid obstructions.

6. Basic Rods and Reels. No bait casters or reels that snag. Choose a short pole and reel that they can handle. It’s special to a kid to have their own rod and reel, even if it’s got Snoopy or Barbie on it. As kids grow, they’ll want better gear and bigger rods.

7. Small hooks. Using small hooks will allow you to catch more fish, even if they are small fish, but remember kids are small too, so even a perch can be relatively big to them. Can you imagine being 3 foot tall and you reel in a 5 foot fish – holy cow, that kid might get scared it would eat them.

8. Bait. Start small and simple, even hot dogs, bread balls, worms, crickets will work. If they can handle live bait, then give it a try, but don’t scare them with it, they might get scared of fishing. Dead and small bait work best.

9. Teach. Teach them about fishing and tell stories, most of all teach them how to tie their own hooks and put the bobbers on. It will give you time to fish as well.   Also tell them how to handle fish, dispose of the extra line, conservation and fishing etiquette.

10. Cheer. If they catch a fish, show some enthusiasm. Cheer some more.

11. Cleaning. If they catch a fish and want to keep it, clean it for them and then teach them how to do it. Either they’ll love it or hate it, but it teaches responsibility and promotes them to being a skilled fisherman. Having a fish scaler as part of their own gear will give them ownership of cleaning their own fish.

12. Catch and Release. Returning a fish back to it’s home is healthy too. Remind them about the laws and regulations when fishing. What fish you can keep, which ones you can’t keep and the good habits of fishing responsibly.

13. Fish with them. Now is the time to really get to know them. Talk about what happened during the week, tell jokes, it’s not just about fishing, it’s about being together. You might learn more than them, about them.

14. Camera. Take lots of pictures, memories that you both will cherish.  Give them a disposable camera as part of the fishing gear package.

The kid fishing.