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How to Teach Your Kids The Love of Fishing

Jun 13, 2014

Many of us who love to fish have stories about when we were young and our parents took us to a creek or lake and gave us our first fishing lessons. These stories bring up a lot of happy memories involving hours of quality family time spent learning the basics. Often times we can trace our love of fishing back to these original family trips, which is why when we have kids of our own we want to give them the same experience. However, there are a lot of things that make it hard to develop a passion for fishing in kids. Here are some tips to help you instill a love of fishing in your children.

The Challenges You’ll Face

First off, let’s talk about some of the challenges that you are going to face. You may have realized that fishing doesn’t come naturally to most children. On top of that, there are a lot of things in today’s modern world that can steal away their attention and make things even harder.

Here are a few of the biggest obstacles:

  • Short attention spans
  • Devices such as mobile phones, iPads and video games
  • Physical challenges such as strength or short legs
  • Impatience, especially if they aren’t catching anything quickly
  • Lack of confidence

How to Teach Your Kids to Love Fishing

  1. Start Small. When you take your kids out fishing, the main goal should be to get them to enjoy the experience and to teach them the basics. These trips shouldn’t be all day events; instead they should be short, say a coupleof hours. It’s also a good idea to start in small areas near your home, preferably ones that are familiar to your kids and where they are more likely to feel comfortable.
  2. Make it About Them. The entire experience should revolve around your kids and making it fun for them. Bring their favorite snacks, talk to them and make jokes. When they are struggling, make sure to be patient with them.
  3. Keep Things Simple. Don’t plan on teaching them everything in one or two trips. Instead, just teach them a few things each trip so that they don’t feel overwhelmed by all of the different techniques, fish facts, lures, and other details. That means that you should use simple tackles, baits and techniques during your first trips and slowly expand from there.
  4. Build Confidence. Ideally, take your kids to spots where the fish are plentiful to help improve their chances of catching something. When they do make a catch, shower them with praise and make them proud of their accomplishment. The more early successes they have, the more engaged they’ll be. Success also creates confidence, which encourages them to fish even more.

Our guides at Aikens all exhibit great qualities that can help in teaching young kids (or young-at-heart adults!) how to be successful on any lake, but especially on Aikens Lake.  While you can certainly start teaching kids how to fish at Aikens Lake, you can also choose to begin before your trip so that they know the basics beforehand and already have a love of the sport. That way, when you bring them they can enjoy themselves all the more and you can spend more time fishing yourself.  An ideal age to begin bringing your young kids to Aikens seems to be in the 8-10 year old range.  With Aikens being a family-run operation, there are plenty of kid-friendly areas at Aikens like the trampoline, swing set, and large beach to keep them occupied at all times - both on and off the water.