When did you learn to fish? We say no one’s too young to enjoy the riverbank in one way or other. Fishing gets kids out in the fresh air. They learn about nature. And they spend quality time with you and the rest of the family. What’s not to love about that?
So with that in mind – as if you needed further encouragement – we’ve put together a celebration of the next generation of anglers!
Dan Bryant on the Total Fishing blog understands kids and fishing very well:
“If you take a kid fishing, he can enjoy it for the day, but if you teach a kid to fish, he can enjoy it for a lifetime”
Teaching children to fish can be the start of a life-long love for them, and the creation of some great memories for you. Plus, as Dan’s happy to report, it gets them away from television and video games, and can be extremely beneficial for their self-esteem.
Not to mention the fact that, if you take a kid fishing, as Dan says, you just might find “that you enjoy teaching them as much as you enjoy fishing yourself.” And there you were, thinking that fishing couldn’t get any better.
Dominic Garnett, blogger and author of new title Crooked Lines, was one angler who absolutely loved teaching his friends’ kids to fish. His earliest memory is of a fishing trip, so he’s happy to pass along the favour to the next generation.
He’s noticed that lots of people talk as if it’s a battle to get kids fishing, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. As far as he’s concerned:
“You just have to get them out on the bank. I have yet to meet a boy or girl who didn’t ask loads of questions or didn’t want to inspect, hold or release their first fish.”
If in doubt, take Dominic’s advice and just start kids out with the simplicity of a pole on a small lake for “a light and largely tangle-proof way to have some fun.”
Or there’s always Martin’s approach. Writing in his blog, Tide Lines, he explains that he encouraged the kids to watch as he reeled in his catch.
Martin had 10 minutes to catch them a fish, but managed to do it in five. By showing them how, he taught them where food comes from and got to show off some serious skills. And by the looks of it the little boy has now got dreams of landing a fish of his own. His interest is definitely piqued!
Landing a Catch
Once kids have got the hang of holding a rod or pole, there’s no telling the kind of amazing catches that their angling future holds. Tim Stanley’s little boy managed to land his very first carp in October 2015, as he told us on our Facebook page. But not only that – it was a whopping 10lb 6oz!
If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times: there’s nothing better than the feeling of landing a spectacular catch. Now Tim’s little boy knows that feeling. Is there anything better for a father to pass on to his son?
Now that’s the face of a kid who loves to fish. And so he should! Daniel and his dad Matt fish together frequently. In fact, Daniel smashed his dad’s PB earlier this year when he caught his own PB 28lb 10oz pike on Hampshire’s River Test, as well capturing the Chew Valley lake monster in the image above. Looks like this is one angler with a bright future!
Just think of the kind of fish Joshua (pictured above) has gone on to catch. He caught this 5½lb Common back in 2013 when he was only 8 years old!
For kids who are showing a real interest in angling like Joshua, junior competitions are a great way to help them hone their skills. They’ll also meet loads of other children who share their interests.
A lifetime’s journey
Even if it’s just a hobby you want to help them develop, then that’s great, too. At the end of the day, this is something you can share for a lifetime, like blogger Sam Edmonds knows. He started fishing with his dad as a kid, and has never stopped. They still regularly go on trips together, and spend loads of time on the rivers.
Paul Lidgett, Fisheries Advisor at the Environment Agency, is just at the beginning of his angling journey with his children. Having taught them in Scotland, on the same loch-side pier he learned on as a child 40 years ago, they’ve already mastered the basics:
“Casting a line, playing a fish and releasing it unharmed – and they are already pestering me about this year’s fishing trips!”
He says: “If your children are anything like mine, they’ll love it and want to spend the summer by the water’s edge.” His top tip? Remember your rod license. It’s just £5 for children, and under 12s go free. So there’s no reason not to charge ahead and give fishing with your kids a go!
Are you going to teach your kids to fish, or have you done it already? Why not do as Tim Stanley did and post pictures of your kids’ incredible catches and trips to the riverbank on our Facebook page?