Fishing is fun for kids of all ages and abilities. Take your child fishing and you'll create memories that last a lifetime. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources offers these tips for taking your kids on a fishing expedition.
1. Have fun. Seeing your child enjoy reeling in their first fish is rewarding. (Take pictures!)
2. Target areas with a high likelihood of success. Most kids are satisfied catching lots of smaller fish such as bluegills rather than catching fewer, bigger fish such as bass. Catching a few fish on the first few outings will pique children’s interest and make them look forward to the next trip.
3. Use live bait to increase the chance of catching a fish. (also bait is more interesting for children)
4. Pick a place that is easy to get to, comfortable, and safe.
5. Bring snacks, sunscreen, insect repellent and first aid basics. This will make your trip comfortable for everyone.
6. Provide them with simple tackle in working order. Nothing can be more discouraging to a child than complicated equipment or equipment that doesn’t work. Consider giving the child his or her own fishing outfit. This gesture is practical because short rods are easier for kids to handle.
7. Keep realistic expectations when taking young children fishing. Realize that children can have short attention spans and may want to move on to something else after a very short time. Try looking for bugs or animals or even skip stones across the water. You can’t expect children to have the same level of enthusiasm you do the first few trips; don’t make fishing a chore for them.
8. Above all else, have patience. You will be unsnagging lines, baiting hooks, and landing fish for them often. On your fishing trips with youngsters, they will get dirty, fall down or even get a little wet. By taking time to introduce children to fishing, you may end up with a fishing buddy for life.
Remember kids under 16 do not a fishing license to fish in Ohio.