Give a child a fish, and you have fed them for one meal. Teach them to fish, and you have fed them for a lifetime. Fishing lessons provide kids with valuable skills and are an incredible learning opportunity while spending quality time on the water, creating memories that will last forever. 

Kids learning how to fish is unquestionably beneficial to their development and is enjoyable for the entire family. But with kids not being as excited about the outdoors as they used to be, instilling the thrill of fishing can be a bit difficult.

To make the process a lot easier for you, here are five tips you should consider to get your children excited about fishing in Fort Myers, FL. 

1. Make It Fun 

The simplest and most vital piece of advice is to make the fishing trip fun so they will want to do it again. Don’t pressure them into catching fish or force them to continue fishing for long spans. Remember, it’s a recreational experience so it should be fun.

Furthermore, children’s attention spans are inherently short. Kids are easily bored and can get frustrated or irritable quickly. As such, allow them to decide what they want to do. It could be playing in shallow waters, digging for worms, or skipping rocks. If they catch a fish while having fun, the better! If they don’t, they will have spent a great fun day with mum and dad. 

Focus on the kid, not the fishing, and let them get dirty and reconnect with nature. However, remember to keep your kids safe by having them wear a life jacket throughout. 

2. Start Young and Build on the Lessons as Time Goes By

The earlier your kid develops a strong interest in actual fishing, the faster it will become a tradition. As such, take every chance you can to visit the fish hatchery, aquarium, and lake! 

Even with young babies, you could take a stroll by the water, put them in a backpack carrier, and get fishing! This way, they are fascinated with the activity right from a tender age and simply cannot wait to do it like you normally do. 

If you are wondering how soon you can take your kid fishing, the answer is as soon as you desire, but ideally between the ages of 2 and 4, when kids have adequate control of their body and movements and can communicate well. 

Children, however, learn best when they are at least 4 years old. To know whether your kid is ready, assess whether they can understand the risks that come with being near water and whether they can follow simple instructions. 

When teaching them, increase their chances of catching fish by using live bait and fishing in populated areas. Granted, success breeds success. The sooner your kids catch a fish, the more motivated they will feel to continue fishing. 

3. Prepare Beforehand

Being prepared for fishing often means having the proper licenses and fishing gear from nippers to sinkers, fishing poles, hooks, lines, lures, and many others. When dealing with kids, however, it means more than that. You have to keep kids interested with fun fishing stories, interesting facts about fish, and other complementary activities. 

Kids have a short attention span and are bound to get bored by monotonous activities. As such, keep throwing in creative ideas. Play casting games, skip rocks, listen to bug noises, identify them, collect mushrooms, smell that weirdly sweet fish smell, name trees, hike, and learn more about conservation and nature.

This way, every fishing excursion can bring endless fishing fun!

As mentioned before, teach them that using live baits is one of the finest methods to catch fish. If they are uncomfortable about using live bait, explain the food chain to show them that what you are using is naturally fish food. Remember to take fishing trips in heavily populated areas with fish to increase the chances of success.

4. Lead by Example

Children often turn out like their parents because parents are children’s earliest role models. Unfortunately, most parents learn that their kids watch when they see them repeat inappropriate words and bad habits. 

Well, kids fishing is a great way to turn the story around. If you want your kids to love fishing, show them how much you love fishing. Tag them along, and within no time, it’ll not just be merely a hobby!  As they watch you fishing while loving it, they will want to do it, too.

To reiterate, when you first start fishing with kids, you’ll need to give them plenty of opportunities for success. Take them to your local bait shop and buy them a few lures, purchase a well-equipped tackle box, and visit stocked ponds or rivers where they will have plenty of opportunities to fish.

Moreover, encourage them. It doesn’t matter if they catch 5 small bluegills, as long as there is some progress.

5. Let Them Own The Experience

Other than making fishing a thing that you do with your kids simply tagging along, involve them in just about every activity throughout the process. Children enjoy having control over their abilities and gear. 

As such, buy them cheap plastic fishing rods to own and practice casting the rubber plug by themselves. Empower them to take charge of their skills and improvement and when you go fishing, lead the way by teaching them but then step back and leave them to it.

While there are better ways to fish, provide them with a basic fishing rod: hook, fishing line, bobber, and a role. Begin with the most basic fishing technique, baitcasting. Show them how to bait hook, fill the spool with line, and knot the hook on the line. 

Moreover, remember to help them disentangle their line from submerged pebbles, the bush behind them, and occasionally their finger as they go. The key thing to do is to keep things lighthearted!

Child fishing can provide for a sensory overload, so try and take advantage of this opportunity to leave a lasting impression. As you speed down the river in a jet boat, help them see fish in the water by giving them their pair of polarized glasses. Make a point of pointing out the various hues of fish to immerse them in the fishing experience completely. Teach them to listen for fish as they jump, frogs croaking, crickets, the sound of water, and so on. 

Book Your Fishing Charter with Caloosahatchee Cowboy Charters Today!

Fort Myers, Florida, has some of the best fishing opportunities in the country. With Caloosahatchee Cowboy Charters, even the youngest kids can enjoy catching trophy fish. 

Led by Captain Josh Constantine, our mission is to guarantee that your family has the best day of fishing possible. Apart from fishing, you’ll enjoy sightseeing, dolphin trips, shelling, and echo tours that come as part of the package. 

So, why not let us help you teach your kids how to fish as you create memories that you will all cherish. Contact us at 239-628-2990 to reserve your fishing charter and get the experience of a lifetime with your kids.