Whether you are a year-round resident of central Alabama or you’re just planning to visit, you owe it to yourself and your kids to head down to the water and enjoy an afternoon of fishing.
Published: April 6, 2018
By: Jon Sutton
Author Website: Click to Visit
However, if you want your kids’ first foray into fishing to be successful, you’ll need to embrace five important tips. You certainly can’t guarantee that any given day on the water will be a good one, but you can drastically improve your odds of catching fish with the kids by incorporating the following suggestions:
1. Make sure your kids use rods and reels appropriate for their size and experience level.
Don’t just hand your child your old fishing rod and expect them to have a good time. Chances are, the rod will be too long for them to control comfortably, and the reel may be too complicated for them to master. Instead, set them up with a child-appropriate fishing rod and reel combo. A 5- to 6-foot-long spinning or spin-casting combo is perfect for most youngsters and will allow them to master the basics quickly.
2. Choose a good fishing location that is kid-friendly.
Many children have difficulty learning to cast, which can place everyone in the immediate vicinity at risk of flying hooks. Kids also struggle to remain quiet during their first few trips. Keeping these potential issues in mind, you’ll want to take them to a place that provides plenty of room for them to learn how to cast without causing problems and is isolated enough that you won’t be ruining anyone else’s day on the water. Fishing piers, bridges and empty shorelines are great choices – just be sure that you pick a productive body of water, which has plenty of fish.
3. Ignore the bass, stripers and trout, and target easy-to-catch species instead.
Adults and experienced anglers often pursue celebrated Alabama gamefish, but as these species are often difficult to catch, you’ll want to target bolder, aggressively feeding fish when introducing your children to the sport. This will give them a better chance to catch fish, which will result in more smiles over the course of the day. Typically, bluegill (and other panfish) and catfish are your best bets, as they aren’t very shy and are usually quite abundant in most Alabama rivers, lakes and ponds.
4. Never go fishing without obtaining a license.
It is very important that you set a good example for your kids while fishing, which means you’ll need to follow all of the local laws and regulations regarding fishing. If you are a year-round Alabama resident, you can fish without a license from the banks of a lake in your home county (though you must use live bait only while doing so). However, if you’re visiting, fishing from a boat or using lures, you’ll need to obtain a recreational fishing license. Any kids 16 or older will need a fishing license as well.
Above all else, just be sure to keep a positive attitude – fishing is supposed to be fun, after all. This way, your kids will still have a good time, even if the fish aren’t biting.
If you’d like to learn a few more tips for making your children’s first fishing trip a good one, check out Outdoor Empire’s comprehensive review of the subject. There, you’ll learn more tips for providing your kids with the right equipment, targeting the right species and dressing your kids for the activity.
Jon Sutton loves to spend time in the woods and on the water. His life has revolved around outdoors since his early childhood days when he caught his first bluegill in his local pond. Since then he has grown into a full-fledged angler targeting salmon and bass during his free time. He also enjoys hiking, camping and travelling.