I know this can sound scary to some, especially if the kids are very young. Just the thought of flying hooks, tangled fishing line and smelly bait is enough to turn a lot of mums and dads off.
Then what happens when the kids do catch fish?
How do you deal with that?
Is it ok to touch?
Are you allowed to keep it?
What size does it have to be?
You know the kids are going to want to bring it home and eat it for dinner!
How do you get the fish ready to eat?
Over the coming months I will be answering these questions and more. I will be sharing tips, how-to segments and plenty of information to help make your family fishing experiences less stressful.
Introduce your kids slowly, that is don’t expect them to sit in a boat, full on fishing for hours on end, unless they are continually catching fish, odds are they will get bored and not want to go again.
Make sure you have plenty of activities planned for your day at the beach. Pack snacks, cold drinks and food, lots of it. I don’t know what it is about the beach but it seems to make everyone hungrier than normal.
Don’t forget the hats and sunscreen. You don’t want the kids to remember the day for the wrong reasons. If the inevitable sunburn happens, I’ve found aloe vera plant and aftersun spray to be very soothing. Also sliced tomato can help reduce the redness and take a little bit of the heat out.
When I go fishing, I like to catch my own bait, normally yabbies. To do this you will need a yabby pump. These retail for around $70-$80 and are a good investment, as it will eventually pay for itself with all the money you save on bait. It will last for years.
You will need some form of fishing rod or reel and a few hooks and sinkers. If you don’t have a rod, you can use a handline or wrap some line around an empty bottle or even tie the line to the end of a stick.
It’s always a good idea to take some back up bait, just in case you don’t get any yabbies. This can be prawns, squid, white bait, worms, chicken breast, bread there are plenty of options that aren’t smelly.
So you’ve got the kids to the beach, car’s unloaded and the kids have eaten.
Ideally you will be starting at low tide as that gives you plenty of access to the yabby holes and an incoming tide to fish.
Now you will have to find the yabby holes and start pumping, The kids love doing this. When my kids were younger they would go off hunting the yabbies for hours and a side benefit was my husband and I were given fresh bait all day.
It is fun to pump the yabbies with the kids, you will all get wet and possibly even muddy, but that’s half the fun.
For some of you this may very well be enough of an introduction for one day.
By now the kids will be hungry again then they might want to go fishing.
If you’re not confident with casting, maybe practice a bit a home before you go.
Try to find a spot away from everyone so you are able to cast easily and kids won’t be swimming around your fishing line.
Don’t expect to do much fishing for yourself for a while. You will get a chance to fish but mainly to try to hook up a couple for the kids to wind in.
Parents have said that the tangles are the most stressful part of fishing.
If you can get the kids to understand they have to stop winding as soon as they see a tangle otherwise it makes it harder for you to undo & that means less fishing time for them.
A lot of the time it is quicker and easier to simply cut the tangle and re rig the rod.
If you feel this is all too much for you, please visit our fishing programs
page to find the Fishing School or a class that suits you. Programs are run from the Gold Coast to the Sunshine Coast and plenty of places in between.
Comments and questions, always welcome.
This weeks tip: Big hooks will catch big fish, smaller hooks will catch both big and small fish. So if you want more fun use a smaller hook.
Good luck and hope you catch a couple of keepers!