Several ways to ensure that kids catch fish.
Published: July 1, 2016
By: John E. Phillips
Kids are built for action. They don’t want to just go fishing – they want to catch fish. The species caught isn’t nearly as important as the number of fish caught. Don’t forget the rules for taking kids fishing: go to a place where they can catch numbers of fish in a short time, and don’t “overfish” them.
Younger children only may want to fish for 30 minutes to an hour and then prefer to wade, throw rocks in the water or just have a good time. Older children will want to catch more fish, their attention spans are longer, and they often want to take their fish home, clean and eat them. Preteens may enjoy a four-hour trip, and teenagers and college students may fish all day. But remember, they want to catch fish the entire time.
Here are several ways to ensure that youngsters catch fish.
Bluegills – the Easiest Fish for Any Age to Catch
Bluegills are abundant in ponds, rivers and lakes, particularly if you fish where there’s a fish feeder on the dock. If a lake owner has fed his fish regularly, you simply can throw some fish food in the water, and the bluegills will start biting. Or, go with a guide who knows where the bluegill beds are and can take you and your youngsters on a bluegill fishing trip of a lifetime.
When I take my grandchildren fishing with a guide, I explain to him before the trip that the main reason we’re coming is for the children to be at a place where they are able to catch plenty of fish.
Preteens and Teenagers Enjoy Fishing for Catfish and Crappie
Preteens and teenagers generally like to catch bigger fish and extend the joy of the trip by taking fish home to eat. The two species that can supply this need and keep poles bent most of the day are catfish and crappie, both very abundant in Alabama.
For a fun way to catch catfish, use a Yo-Yo, also known as a Mechanical Fisherman. You tie this device to a tree limb hanging out over the water and bait with any catfish bait. When the catfish takes the bait, the coil spring inside the Yo-Yo uncoils, setting the hook and keeping the catfish right there. You also can set out trotlines for daytime or nighttime fishing and catch catfish on rods and reels.
Today’s modern catfish fishers often use side-scanning sonar like bass anglers do to identify schools of catfish near the bottom or around logs. Trolling for catfish produces plenty of fish too. During the summer months, catfish are actively biting. By concentrating on fishing where you know catfish congregate or going with a guide, your group may catch 50 to 100 pounds of catfish in a couple of hours.
My grandchildren like to use jugs or noodles. You simply tie a line to each jug or noodle, it floats with the current, and the jug or the noodle starts bobbing, once the catfish takes the bait. The youngsters help chase down the floats from a boat, pick up the floats and pull in the cats. Especially around spillways and dam sites, your group may catch 50 to 100 pounds of cats in a half-day trip. A catfish catching adventure can take place by day or at night.
Fun to catch and delicious-tasting crappie this summer will be seeking deep holes and drop-offs on lakes and rivers. You can fish for crappie at day or night yourself or hire a guide to take children on this adventure.
All Ages Will Love Saltwater Fishing
My goal for taking children fishing always is to give them an adventure and have them remember the fishing trips we’ve gone on together, and the fun we’ve had outdoors. Some charter boat captains and party boat captains specialize in taking families offshore fishing. Teenagers and college students will find nothing more exciting than catching and releasing sharks and big fish.
Although red snapper season closes the end of July, plenty of red snapper are available to be caught, photographed and released off Alabama’s Gulf Coast or to keep some to eat. Deckhands will help children learn how to fish.
John E. Phillips is president of Night Hawk Publications, Inc.
Guides Who Specialize in Family Fishing Trips
- Brian Barton (catfish) – 256-412-0569, email@example.com, www.brianbartonoutdoors.com/
- Billy Blakely (bluegills) – 877-258-3226, www.bluebankresort.com
- Randy Boggs (saltwater party boat) – 251-981-7173, www.reelsurprisecharters.com
- Phillip Criss (bass) – 205-461-5549, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Troy Frady (saltwater private boat) – 251-975-8111, www.distractioncharters.com
- Jonathan Phillips (crappie) – 334-391-9735, email@example.com
- Hunter Shumate (catfish) – 731-592-8896, www.bluebankresort.com