How to Teach a Kid to Fish

Let’s Go Fishing!

It’s time to get outdoors and teach a kid to fish. Whether you are a parent, aunt, uncle, grandparent, or friend, passing on the sport of fishing to the next generation is a great way to teach them about sport, luck, nature, and just have fun at the same time.

Here are some pointers to teach a kid to fish.

Start With Success

I remember one of my first fishing trips. It rained all day, we were hungry, and we caught no fish. Of course, that is the reality of fishing. Sometimes you don’t catch any fish. If you are trying to teach a kid to fish, however, it is far better to start on a nice day in a spot where you will catch fish. That may mean you don’t go for the lunker walleye that day but just find a fishing pier near your town and pull some sunfish out of the water.

What you want to accomplish at first is teaching the kid how to handle a fishing pole, how to cast, how to set a hook. You don’t need hours of inactivity and bad weather to get in the way. Any kid who pulls a stringer of panfish out of a lake will want to go again.

Don’t Gross Them Out

Don’t worry about teaching a kid to bait the hook and remove the fish right away. Just let them fish. If they want to, by all means go for it, but if they seem opposed just take those tasks yourself at first. As kids become more used to bait like worms and more used to the site of a caught fish they will naturally want to do it themselves so you don’t have to push it now.

You could certainly start out with artificial bait, but in my experience the best way to make sure you catch fish easily is to use the worms unless you have a proven spot where your lures will work. Using a variety of lures is more advance and is best left for a future trip.

Use Proper Equipment

If you are teaching a young kid to fish, especially one younger than 8 years old or so, consider using the proper equipment for them. You don’t want to put a bait casting reel in the hands of a young kid. That just doesn’t make sense. I find that spinning reels work well even for younger kids. They can figure it out.

The most popular reels for younger kids are the push button style reels on a short rod. They are very easy so kids love them. Unfortunately, the quality of these rods and reels is often very low, so beware because they tend to get tangled easily and force you to open the reel to fix them. That is no fun at all.

A good compromise is to get a shorter rod with spinning reel. I believe this is the most user friendly and reliable rod and reel set for the young fisherman or fisherwoman. Check out the fishing poles for kids near you to see what you can find. Avoiding issues with the equipment will go a long way to making your outing more fun.

Use The Bobber

I know you sport fishermen out there scoff at the idea of a bobber, but it is a great way to teach kids when a fish is nibbling and when they are really biting. A bobber is a terrific teaching tool because you can see what the kids feel on their line and instruct them accordingly.

To make it even more fun, let them pick out a few bobbers so that it is their first tackle box item. They will take pride in having some equipment and will like seeing it in the water. In fact, you can pick them up a small tackle box to be their very own. That is a cheap item and it will make a kid very happy.

After you have worked the bobber to the point that a kid knows when a fish is really biting and how to set the hook, you can graduate to other methods.

Take Pictures

Don’t forget to take pictures of your day. Since you used a bobber and worm in a spot that you know you will catch fish, those pictures will include pictures of your new fishing buddy with his or her first catch. I’ll bet it will also include a smiling face.

Have fun and teach a kids to fish today! If you do it right and have success, you will hear the phrase ‘When can we go fishing again?’ That’s when you’ll know you succeeded.