Thursday, December 11, 2008

Fishing with kids is a lot of fun

It's great to see many of our guests bringing their families, including children, to Bow Narrows Camp.

Just like they do with everything else, youngsters develop the skills for fishing very rapidly.

The best idea is to start them with lures with single barbless hooks, like jigs, Johnson Silver Minnow with a trailer, Beetle Spins, crankbaits and buzzbaits. These lures are less likely to get snagged on the bottom and also in the skin!

There's no point in starting a kid off with an expensive rod and reel. It's no big deal if a $20-$30 outfit accidentally gets dropped in the lake or stepped on. Most kids do best with a spincast and graduate to an open face spinning reel after a few years. Bring a couple rod and reel combos, just in case something happens to the first one.

Kids always prefer action and so I would suggest concentrating on northern pike fishing unless you know for a fact that the walleyes are on a feeding frenzy. Pike are fun to fish for because the kids get to cast for them. It's amazing how fast they become adept at this.

They couldn't care less how big the fish are, just as long as they catch a lot of them. The perfect place is a cove that's filled with hammer-handle pike. You run into these all the time. They're usually small coves and shallow and just about every fish you get there are exactly the same size. The fish are hungry and aggressive and will hit anything that moves. To a kid, this is fishing paradise. Maybe I'm a kid at heart because I feel the same way. My wife, Brenda, our youngest son, Josh, and I spent an afternoon in such a cove one time and hauled in pike three at a time for an hour. When they finally quit biting we had caught and released 100 and we've called that place Hundred Fish Bay ever since.

The thing to keep in mind when fishing with a young angler is just to have fun. If they're thrilled with catching little perch, than just stay at that spot and catch perch. Many times kids have a ball catching and letting go rock bass from around the dock cribs at camp. These little panfish are especially thrilling because you get to see them bite the hook!

It's also good to remember that kids' attention spans aren't as long as adults. They may get tired of fishing during the day; so, plan on getting out at a beach for lunch or exploring islands and the shoreline several times a day. Also, take along a lot of snacks and drinks.

Bring some games to play in case of rainy days and for the evening.

Most of all, enjoy how different kids see the world. They're more observant and are curious about all the new sights and sounds. Help them explore and investigate when they want.

Some kids quickly become ardent fishermen. We've had many boys and girls who simply wear out their elders when it comes to fishing. Others just like to mix fishing with all the other things they can do: swimming, games, exploring.

We're glad to have kids at camp and offer a couple of savings for guests who bring theirs.

There is no charge for kids under 6 and kids 7-12 are half-price.

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