TAKE THE KIDS FISHING
We were driving up the beach early last Sunday morning after a spontaneous night camping, and the amount of families and Dad’s & kids that we drove past out fishing was so heartwarming to see. It made me think of growing up in the nineties, and how fishing was always a rite of passage in our childhood to get out and spend some quality time with Dad when he wasn’t working - we didn't always talk much but it was the fact of being together and doing something that Dad loved for once, which in turn made us grow up loving it too. Believe it or not, it's so relaxing once you look past all the sharp and smelly bits, being out in the fresh air listening to the sounds of nature with the ones you love the most.
Fishing is one of the most simplest pleasures in life, and the perfect opportunity to bond as a family without all the other distractions of today. As a parent you will never forget the look on your children’s faces when they look up at you getting those first bites on their lines, It’s priceless! New experiences like these, especially ones that we were brought up with and remember so fondly, are some of the greatest gifts that you could ever pass onto your children.
Trying fishing for the first time can seem daunting and stressful, the sharp pieces, the smelly hands but try and over look all of this for the positives instead like the quality connection time and the calming outdoor experience especially if you find a nice afternoon spot to fish and watch the sun go down for the day. Remember everything can be washed and cleaned up at the end of the day, enjoy the moment instead!
Fishing doesn't have to be the most expensive activity or hobby to do (although it can turn into one if you all catch the fishing bug!). Start simple with an inexpensive hand reel or small kids setup, they are perfect for fishing off a jetty, wharf, canoe or boat. Stop in at your local tackle & bait shop, they are always full of great local advice - most anglers are more than happy to help each other and help the young kids get into it but just don't expect them to give away all their best secret fishing spots! Once the kids have more confidence and experience it's time to take them to pick their own little set up. Kids rods are pretty cheap now, come in bright colours that the kids will love, and by taking them to help choose their own rod only increases their excitement and wanting to engage in it. If your kids catch the fishing bug it will most likely stay with them for life!
When starting out fishing it's best to not focus so much on actually catching a fish but enjoying the experience more. Chances are at the beginning there won't be a lot of fish being caught but it's a great way for kids to learn practicing patience and learning the essentials of fishing so don't be discouraged if you don't catch anything the first time - if your not discouraged and positive then the kids will be too. There are still plenty of times we head out now and catch nothing, but the fun and serenity of even trying is worth all the effort of it.
While learning to fish there is always plenty to learn like casting & tying knots, the art of patience, discussing where our food comes from, and talking about all the different creatures in the ocean. A fun way for the little legends to learn without them really even knowing it. The benefits and skills kids learn from fishing are priceless and they will be able to use them for a lifetime and eventually passing onto their own children.
Another great idea is to go out with one of your local fishing charters. They do all the hard work for you, so you get the fun of reeling in the fish - most of them sell gift vouchers too which make perfect present ideas of experiences rather than too many toys that the kids don’t really need. Or trying a local fish farm, you can hire fishing equipment there and spend the day catching and releasing the fish back in.
If you need the extra help, there are always plenty of videos online to help teach you the basics of fishing, including many different ways to get the smell of fish odor off your hands! (Our favourite is rubbing our hands down with lemon juice after!) or drop us a line, we are always happy to help!
Why not grab a rod this weekend, pack the esky with some snacks and a couple of coldies and get out adventuring with your rods and kids!