Fishing for Kids: Games and Skills Building
Fishing has one been one of the world’s favorite pastimes for many years, and for good reason. Increasingly in our new online and always connected world it’s becoming harder and harder for people to unplug and unwind. Nowhere is this more evident than for kids and their childhood, who’ve grown accustomed to using high tech equipment from a very young age. This by itself of course is not a bad thing at all, but when it erodes time spent going outdoors and exploring the world and engaging in fun activities it canbe problematic. That’s why in this blog we’re going to explain how you can reclaim some of this precious time together with your kids by teaching them how to fish!
Kids learn differently these days, but we’re here to help you coax them into the outdoors lifestyle and show them how fun some offline time can really be. Fishing can be a truly amazing and unique way to get outdoors and unplug from stressful modern life. First we’ll tell you some of the best ways to introduce your kids to the world of fishing, and afterwards we’ll take a look at some fun fishing games you guys can play once the basics have been learnt. Let’s get to it!
Outdoor Fishing Games for Kids
Keep It Simple
We know you might have already been fishing for most of your life, know a ton of neat tricks and skills and are probably desperate to share them with the kids your teaching. But think again, there’s no faster way to alienate a youngster from learning than by overwhelming them with complex jargon and techniques. That’s why the first way to teach your kids how to fish is to keep it simple. You will need a rod, line, hook, sinker bobber and bait, as well as a cane pole. Stay hands on with them and explain the basics as simplistically as possible. Practice makes perfect!
(Almost) Instant Gratification is Key
Newsflash: kids have poor attention spans. These days, they are even worse. But that’s no reason to punish them for it. Teaching them how to love fishing and embrace the outdoors will take time. You and a friend might be content sitting on a lake all day and catching a couple of bass and just having a hell of a time, but a kid in this era is not going to feel the same. That’s why it’s best to take them somewhere simple first, like a local park lake where you can catch fish easily and in abundance. Over time they’ll go from enjoying the bluegill game to wanting something bigger; that’s when you can begin to move on and teach them some more advanced stuff.
While you don’t want to overwhelm the kids with any unnecessary jargon or over-complicated explanations, it’s still a good idea to talk tactics with them and show them some examples and demonstrations if you can. For example, you can explain how a float works and moves when a fish bites. If you’re casting jigs, give a sharp tug on the line while they are holding the rod to simulate what a hit will feel like. This will create a few laughs as well as being an ideal learning environment too.
When teaching kids it’s not advised to use an overhead cast for safety reasons. Instead try a sidearm cast for maximum effectiveness. Take a brief shoulder check to ensure nobody is in harm’s way, bring the rod back above waist, swing the rod forward and release the line just before the line points at the target, lastly make sure you finish with the rod pointing directly at your target! Keep encouraging them and don’t be too hard on your young fisherman and women if they aren’t quite grasping it yet. It’s going to take some time!
Taking young kids next out on to bodies of water means they will have to wear a life jacket. Resist the urge to let them off if they complain about being too uncomfortable! Certain types of equipment like hooks should be handled exclusively by adults. The other alternative is buying equipment that hides the hook within the bobber for safer casting. It’s really up to you how you wish to proceed, but as always with outdoor activities safety is paramount.
Fishing Skills Building Activities for Kids
Once you feel as if your kids have got a grip on the basics and are having a good time, it’s time to move on to the next level of fun! Take a look at these simple and easily replicated fishing games you can play with your kids to enhance your experience even more. Introduce them to different forms of fishing and a little more advanced techniques to build their enjoyment of the activity. This will put your young fisherman and women well on their way to becoming rulers of the lakes!
Shore Fishing High Score
Shore fishing has the advantage of being the most accessible form of fishing for all skill levels and ages, which makes it perfect to play with your kids. You can catch both freshwater and saltwater fish of different varieties depending on your locale. The aim of Shore Fishing High Score is simple; catch as many fish as you can! This is a great way to teach your kids about responsible environmental fishing, and putting your prize catches back in the lakes. Make sure to keep count of who has managed to catch the most by the end of the activity. Whoever has caught the most, wins! The thrill of competition and the fun had while fishing may even lead them into a career/hobby in local events, who knows?
For this game, make a list of the different types of species of fish you can catch, depending on what style of fishing you are doing and where you are. For example, if you are shoreline fishing you can write up a group of freshwater fish you may find that includes largemouth trout, rainbow trout and bluegill. The first to catch one of each is the winner! As time goes on you can expand it to different species to make it harder, or increase the quantities of each type. You can even turn the game into a months long activity, keeping a score each time you and your kids revisit your favorite spots.
Fly Fishing Fun
If you feel like your kids have really come on leaps and bounds, you can start moving on to teaching them different types of fishing to keep things fresh. Fly Fishing is a popular technique that involves getting fish to bite on artificial bait. This means artificial replications of bugs or bait fish. The fun in this activity could be making and designing the bait yourselves. Your kids will love the design aspect of the job, and it’ll be even more fun seeing who can create the most effective baits! This is a fantastic way to expand the experience of fishing even more, introducing a creative aspect that will resonate with younger minds well. It will also get them wall on their way to thinking about more advanced forms of fishing, while still keeping the levels accessible.
Additional Fishing Resources
After you’ve covered most of these fishing games, then be sure to check out other fish fun, including: the best fishing blogs (here), how to create a backyard fishing pond (here), entertaining fishing toys for kids (here), fun indoor fish tanks (here), fishing TV shows and series’ (here), government resources for fish and fishing (here), and general aquaculture news and resources (here).