A family fishing trip can be one of the best experiences of the year, but you need the right planning and attitude to make it a success.
With these tips, your next family fishing trip will be more fun and create an even greater bond with your loved ones.
The #1 priority for your family fishing trip should be safety, especially the safety of young children. Make sure all kids (and adults who can’t swim) are wearing lifejackets while on a boat or dock. Keep walkways clear of hazards, and only let adults and older kids handle hooks, knives, and other sharp objects. Before you go, it is a good idea to review the safety rules with your family.
You can’t always go out on a day with perfect skies and light, warm temperatures, but you can try. Check the weather forecast and look for a day that will give your family a comfortable fishing experience with little wind and no rain.
A day loaded with dozens of small fish is much more enjoyable for your family than chasing one large trophy. Choose a spot that is active with small panfish like bluegills or crappie. Panfish might not be a prize-winning trophy to you, but to children they are the most exciting catch in the world.
Fishing equipment can get pretty advanced, so it’s best to bring along rods and reels that inexperienced people can use. You can bring a baitcaster for yourself, but kids and inexperienced anglers will probably need a push-button reel, which is easier to cast and less prone to bunching.
Artificial lures may be the backbone of your fishing exploits, but to catch lots of small, active fish, live bait is your best options. Worms are the classic fish temptation, and they catch just about everything from little panfish to largemouth bass and catfish.
Kids can get impatient, and some people in your family may not love fishing as much as you do, so only plan on fishing for around two hours. This will give you plenty of time to cast around, explore the water, and catch a few fish, while keeping kid’s attention and energy high.
Remember that in the end, having fun with your family is the ultimate goal. As anglers, we have a tendency to gauge a trip by the size or numbers of fish, but your family just wants to enjoy a few hours in the outdoors. Whether it’s a banner day or all the fish are sleeping, as long as you had fun with your family, it was a good fishing trip.