There are really only a few sweet memories that stick out in our minds as clearly as catching our very first fish. Not only is the excitement of a little fishy smacking the luring line fun and thrilling, but it's an adrenaline rush — especially when you've been sitting still for quite some time. Add mom or dad into the picture, cheering you on as you reel in your prize, and you've got yourself a core memory.
When it comes to raising kids, just about every parent's goal is the same: the universal objective is to raise healthy, happy, and well-adjusted children equipped with all the skill sets and tools necessary to function and thrive as an adult.
As it turns out, fishing has a number of great qualities that make the hobby especially good for our littlest family members.
Yup, it's true — fishing isn't just a great way for dads to get away and drink beer outdoors, but it's an activity that provides benefits for the whole family.
If you're thinking about introducing your mini humans to the exciting world of fishing, we couldn't be more excited for you! Not only will the activity give you a great oppor-tuna-ty to bond, but it's an excellent way to enjoy Mother Nature and soak up some Vitamin D.
However, regardless of how much experience you have, there are some things you should know before hitting the water with your little fishermen.
In this post, we're diving into the deep waters of fishing to uncover everything you need to know to fish safely with your kids. Are you ready? Let's go!
Fishing With Kids: What You Need To Know
Give a kid a fish, and you've fed your tiny tot for a day. But teach a kid how to fish, and you've helped create a lifetime of learning, awe-inspiring experiences in nature, and memories that will last forever.
A classic family pastime and one of the most kid-friendly outdoor activities on the planet, fishing is great for people of all ages. It doesn't matter if you're two or 102; there’s no age restriction on who can fish as long as you can hold a pole. And even if you can't, you can still join the family on the annual fishing trip to cheer on your loved ones.
That being said, if your kids are relatively young, you might think it's best to leave them at home. After all, they can't hold a fishing line, and if they happen to have a surprise meltdown, they'll definitely scare all the fish away.
But believe it or not, when you introduce your wee ones to the sport at an early age, it can help spark a long-lasting love affair full of casts, catches, and memories. Plus, you'll always have a fishing buddy... what's not to love?
Here are a few more reasons why you should teach your kiddos how to fish:
Reason #1: It’s a Technology-Free Zone
Let's face it; your little monsters have probably been around smartphones, tablets, or Playstation controllers since they were born: we live in a technology-driven world. And don't get us wrong, technology is great. But too much of a good thing isn't always a good thing.
In today's technology-obsessed society, too many kids are addicted to "being connected" at all times. And since this sprouting generation is the first in history to grow up around Wifi 24/7, there are no studies to gauge just how much of an impact this is going to have when they're older.
What we do know, however, is that kids who are addicted to technology appear to develop mental health issues. On the flip side, there is a substantial amount of research that shows playing outdoors can help kids to develop social skills, confidence, independence, respect for Mother Nature, and so much more.
So with that in mind, why not get them outside with a fishing rod in hand? The thrill of a fishy nibbling at the end of your line is something that no technology can beat, and it will undoubtedly do them a whole lot of good to "disconnect" from their tech and "connect" with nature instead.
Reason #2: It Improves Coordination
It takes balance and coordination to fish, especially if you're on a boat. You also need balance when reeling your catch because if you lose your footing, you may also lose your catch.
Needless to say, the hobby is an excellent way to help improve your wobbly tot's balance while improving their coordination, which are both essential skills for child development.
Reason #3: It Teaches Patience
In today's fast-paced world, where we can get just about anything and everything on-demand, patience is a dying virtue. But the reality is that patience is used in almost all aspects of life. With a proper lesson in patience — you’ve got the world ahead of you, kid.
With that in mind, anyone who's ever been fishing knows (unless you're lucky) you won't catch a fish as soon as you toss in your line. Fishing requires a whole lot of patience in order to be successful.
So, seeing as the hobby can be loads of fun, it's an excellent way to teach your tiny human the art of patience, including self-restraint, fortitude, and keeping their cool when things don't go their way.
Reason #4: It Gives Them a Better Understanding Where Food Comes From
If you asked your littlest family member where the food on their plate came from, would they be able to tell you? Many of us are lucky to be privileged and can quickly run down to the local market when we need something, but it has disconnected us from the reality of where that food originated.
Kids should understand where the yummy food that fills their bellies comes from. That knowledge will lay the foundation they'll use to make nutritional choices for themselves in the future. And even if you're catching and releasing, just having the talk with them about how fish are caught, prepared, and used for nourishment will put them ahead of the class.
Reason #5: It Teaches Survival Skills
Pop quiz: which kiddo do you think will be a more well-rounded member of society and able to flourish, thrive, and survive as an adult in the world?A. The kid that can digitally catch fish and bugs to sell, dig fossils and befriend local animals on their Nintendo DS.
B. The kid that can tie knots, hook bait, catch fish, clean fish, and be one with nature.
No shade on video games, but fishing in the great outdoors (and not behind a screen) has numerous survival skills that will serve your growing tot well throughout their life. Don't let your kids become adults that would have no clue how to feed themselves if the Internet were to shut down for a week. Fishing teaches self-reliance, which is a huge confidence booster.
Fishing With Kids: What You Need To Know
Now that you're totally convinced to take your kids fishing, let's go over a few tips that can help you to make it a fun and safe experience for all involved, shall we?
Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Tip #1: Make the Day All About Them
First and foremost, it's important to make the day all about your new little fishing buddy. Keep reminding yourself that you're not necessarily there to come home with dinner but to create a fun and memorable experience for the kids. The objective is to help others attempt to catch a fish so they can enjoy the day outside.
It can be a tough concept to grasp, especially when the fish are basically begging for you to catch them, but trust us — once your kid learns the ropes because you were such a great teacher, they'll begin to develop a lasting love for the sport and you'll forever have a fishing buddy. Think of this first fishing trip as an ~investment~
Tip #2: Keep It Short
As parents, we know kids can get bored easily. Forcing them to stay out by the water for an entire day can turn them off to fishing altogether. So, for the first fishing trip, keep it short. However, if the fish are biting and your little fishermen are having a blast, stay out longer and enjoy!
On the flip side, if the fish aren't biting, you can encourage your curious wee ones to poke around the river bank. They can collect stones, look for critters, and get muddy. Playing with wiggly worms, skipping rocks, or even just taking a break and going for a nice walk can help young fishermen to stay engaged.
Tip #3: Don’t Forget The Essentials
Whatever you do, don't leave home without packing all the essentials, like life jackets!
Everyone should be rocking a life jacket as they learn to fish, period. Even when you're fishing from shore, wearing a life jacket develops safety habits. What's more, it takes only a few seconds for a child to drown.
And even if you think you'll never take your eyes off of them, kids are cheeky little buggers that are guided by their curiosity. If they see something in the water, whether that be a rock or a minnow, there's a pretty good chance that they're going to try and touch it. And if you're not watching at that very second, it could spell disaster. Life jackets are life savers. Don't bring your kids fishing without them.
In addition to life jackets, don't forget to bring the snacks! Kids can get a rumbly in their tumbly faster than a fish can swim away. And hungry kids are grumpy kids. And grumpy kids don't make good fishing buddies. So, do yourself a favor and bring a few kid-friendly snacks as well as water to keep them properly hydrated.
Lastly, you definitely don't want to take your kids to the water without mosquito repellent. The bloodsucking insects thrive in water sources, so it's pretty much inevitable that you'll cross paths when you go fishing. While there are many different bug sprays on the market, we recommend our all-natural mosquito repellent —BuzzPatch!
Made using non-woven fabric patches that are infused with a powerful combo of citronella and other essential oils that are perfectly safe for kids, BuzzPatch doesn't contain any icky ingredients or harsh chemicals like DEET. Plus, not only is it super easy to apply but environment-friendly, too.
Go Fish: Not Just a Card Game
Fishing is a great activity for people of all ages, especially kids! Just don't forget to keep them safe with a life jacket, properly hydrated, and perfectly protected from icky bloodsucking skeeters with The Natural Patch Co.
Using the most effective but safe essential oil combination designed to confuse mosquitoes and hide your kids from their senses, with BuzzPatch, you can finally say goodbye to itchy bites and the pesky bugs once and for all — naturally.