Now that I am a parent and the uncle to 6 (soon to be 7) nieces and nephews I am motivated more than ever to get them involved in the outdoors. Whether that’s fishing, hunting or target shooting. I am fortunate enough to have had a lake cabin in my family my entire life, and now my mom retired to the lake making getting out and fishing even easier.
We typically fish from the dock but last summer I had the privilege to take my niece out in the “Big Person” boat for some fishing. It was the first time I was able to take one of them out and I had a blast but not as much as she did. Here’s a few things to remember when you take a youth on the water,
- Be safe and wear a life jacket – yes that means you too. Kids look up to the adults and like to copy you. If you wear one, they will be more open to wearing one.
- Don’t plan on fishing, make the time out all about them, chances are it won’t be for very long so you can go out later and get your fishing in.
- Have a plan to pass the time if the fish aren’t biting – even if that means going back in and trying later.
- Show them how to safely handle hooks and sit in a boat.
- If it’s the first time, be patient, you do it right the first time, they’ll be hooked for life and will be much easier to fish with on every future outing – aka meaning you can eventually fish with them rather than help them fish.