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Friday, February 21, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Outdoors blog

Emphasize fun while fishing with kids

Carson Blakesley of Post Falls caught one of the few really big rainbows swimming with the more average-sized trout in the net pens set up at Clear Lake for the annual Kids Fish-In on May 1. Colby Price, in the background, caught a big one, too. Both boys are 5 years old. RICH LANDERS richl@spokesman.com
 (Rich Landers)
Carson Blakesley of Post Falls caught one of the few really big rainbows swimming with the more average-sized trout in the net pens set up at Clear Lake for the annual Kids Fish-In on May 1. Colby Price, in the background, caught a big one, too. Both boys are 5 years old. RICH LANDERS richl@spokesman.com (Rich Landers)

FISHING -- Fishing is a time-tested, generations-approved way to have quality time with kids.

But keep it cool.  Going fishing is a way to get away from the pressure kids feel in mainstream sports and school.

Idaho Fish and Game staffers have assembled some kid-fishing tips worth reviewing.

“Be positive, make it fun and remember it’s not just your fishing trip – it’s theirs too,” said Adare Evans, Wildlife Educator for Fish and Game in Boise. “Consider it as an investment -- do it right and payback time will come years later when they take you fishing.”

To help ensure your youngster’s fishing trips are not their last, Fish and Game provides the following suggestions:

  • The younger the child, the shorter the attention span.  If the fish aren’t biting, don’t keep them chained to their fishing poles or held hostage in a boat.  Allow some breaks for rock skipping, swimming, enjoying some beach time, catching frogs – whatever keeps them happy and lets them enjoy the outdoors.
  • Be patient. Accept that they may not keep quiet and they probably will get a few tangles. Keeping the outing short (under an hour for beginners) and ending on a cheerful note before anyone gets crabby will set you on course for cultivating a lifelong fishing buddy.
  • Keep it Simple - Short poles and closed-face reels are good choices. A small tackle box with a few small hooks, a few 1-inch bobbers and sinkers is all you need to get started.
  • If bait is used, encourage them to bait their own hooks. Let them practice with plastic worms. Eventually, they’ll get used to the idea of doing it themselves.
  • Pack a cooler with sandwiches, some cookies and water. Remember to take garbage bags to pack out your trash, and encourage the kids to pick up too.  
  • Essentials - Be sure to take sunscreen, a few Band-Aids and a fishing license if required.
  • Quantity not Quality - Your kids will have a lot more fun reeling in several easy to catch stocked trout rather than waiting for a 5-pound lunker to bite. Finding a well-stocked pond or lake is essential to hooking youngsters to fishing.  

Fish and Game’s “Take Me Fishing" trailers are making appearances at well-stocked fishing holes across the state.  The trailers are full of basic fishing equipment that can be checked out for free on a first-come, first-served basis. Fish and Game staff will also be available to answer questions and help those new to the sport. 



Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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