Let’s Wet a Hook: Fishing And Kids

The last time I wrote about fishing with children, I gave ideas on how to make the trip fun and successful.  This time I would like to write on why we should take a child fishing.
To Make Memories –  Fishing is not just a sport or a hobby.  It is something that creates memories of a lifetime.  My Father and I have had hundreds of fishing trips together over the years.  We still fish together often now.  I can think of countless trips we had when we had meaningful Father/Son conversations that I will never forget.  It was our chance to get away and enjoy a fun hobby, but also to just hang out and be pals.  Alone together on the bank of a pond or in a boat gave us hours to just talk.  As I look back, catching fish was really secondary.  The time together was what was so meaningful.
When I take one of my Daughters fishing now, I really try to engage them and just listen.  Most of the talk at their age is about “why” or “how”.  “why do fish eat worms”, “why do fish have scales”, “why are they slimy”, “How do they breathe underwater”.  It is an awesome experience to watch their imaginations run wild. No matter what the conversation consists of, the setting sure beats the normal interruptions and distractions.
To Learn –   What can you learn fishing?…..a lot!  Fishing is one of the ways that a child can enjoy nature.  You just don’t see as many children outside and enjoying nature like they used to.  TV, video games, and technology as a whole seem to be luring children away from the outdoors.  The exposure to nature, that so many of us enjoyed as a child, seems to be eroding.
Fishing also gives children a chance to learn how to be good stewards of nature and catch and release.  If they are not taught the importance of taking care of our lakes, ponds, rivers, and oceans, who will in the future? If they are not taught the importance of catch and release, what will happen to our fish population?
It seems that children’s activities and hobbies change from generation to generation.  Technology is progressing rapidly, and we live in an instant gratification society.  A good lesson for children is to just slow down.  Fishing certainly offers an opportunity to learn this lesson.  Have you ever met an impatient but successful fisherman?
To Have Fun – Last, but certainly not least, is to have FUN.  Think about it. If you are a fisherman, would you do it if it wasn’t fun?  Have you ever seen a child catch a fish, or hold a fish up for a picture that wasn’t smiling.  Fishing is fun, and kids love fun.  For some ideas on how to make fishing fun for kids, see my August 09 blog http://www.dillonheraldonline.com/2009/08/01/fishing-with-children/
Happy Fishing!
“Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime”