Four Tips for Fishing With Kids
May 25th, 2017 by Curtis Condon

Most of us remember our first fishing trip. Your kids will, too. Any day is a good day to fish, but If you need an excuse, the first week of June is Fishing Week, and June 18 is Go Fishing Day. Sounds like two great opportunities to make memories.
© iStock/BraunS

Fishing with kids is different than fishing solo or with other adults. It is both wonderful and challenging at the same time. The key to making a fishing trip with kids successful is to understand their needs and concerns.

Here are four things to consider if you plan to fish with kids, especially those who have never fished before:

  • It’s all about the fish. When kids go fishing, they expect to catch fish—lots of them. There’s no such thing as “the fish aren’t biting’.” To improve the odds, go to a proven honey hole or a spot recently stocked with fish.
  • Make things interesting. Kids get bored easily, so keep them engaged. One way to do that is to tell stories, maybe about fishing when you were a kid or about the ones that got away. Another way to keep kids’ focus is to teach them basic skills, such as baiting a hook, tying a proper knot or casting a line.
  • Keep it simple. Don’t make fishing more complicated than it has to be. For example, bait cast and spinning reels can be a challenge for kids to use, so leave them at home. Stick to spincast reels. Not only are they easier to use, they are relatively inexpensive to replace if they accidently end up in the drink.
  • Minimize discomfort. If you can keep kids warm, dry and fed, you improve the odds for a memorable outing. Bring along plenty of drinks and snacks. If there’s a chance of rain, pack raingear. A chilly morning? Bring a jacket, hat and gloves. Keep outings short, too. That’s especially true with first-timers. Kids can be impatient and get bored easily, especially if fish aren’t biting. Take your cues from the fish—and the kids.

In Pursuit of Prime Seafood
Red snapper is one of the tastiest fish in the Gulf, and the timing to catch your next meal couldn’t be better.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced the Gulf recreational red snapper season is as follows:

Open daily, starting the Saturday before Memorial Day, May 27, through Sunday after Independence Day, July 9.

Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in September and October, plus Labor Day, Monday, September 4.

Outdoor App of the Month—First Aid
Accidents and injuries happen. The chances increase outdoors, where bumps, bruises, cuts and blisters are often part of the experience. That’s when it’s beneficial to have first aid information at your findertips.

There’s an app for that.

It is called First Aid, created by American Red Cross. It is available for Apple and Android phones. Best of all, it’s free—and ad-free.

June Mentionables
The first week of June is Fishing Week.
June 3: National Trails Day.
June 18: Go Fishing Day.
June 18: International Picnic Day.
June 24: Swim a Lap Day.
June 25: National Catfish Day.

Show-and-Tell Time
Send us your favorite outdoor tip, photo or story. If selected for publication, we will send you $25 for one-time use of the item. When sending a photo, identify people and pets, and tell us the story behind the picture. Email your submission to moc.stnerrucadirolfnull@ofni.

Many of Curtis Condon’s fondest memories involve outdoor adventures with friends and family, whether fishing with old school buddies, backpacking in the mountains of the Northwest with his sons, or bird watching along the Gulf Coast with his wife. He feels fortunate having the opportunity to write about the outdoors and other subjects for more than 30 years.