Are you planning on taking your kids fishing for the first time? Here are a few tips for making it a fun and sun safe experience for everyone!

Summertime is all about getting outdoors with family. Many gyms and recreational options are still impacted by the presence of COVID-19 and its variants, so there's no better time to start exploring activities that get you into nature.

Fishing is an excellent one. That said, it's hard to get your kids started with fishing, especially if you're not an expert angler yourself.

We're going to take a look at some basic tips on taking your kids out fishing today. We'll cover the skill of fishing, but we'll also touch on some practical tips for dealing with the elements out on the water.

Let's get started.

How to Prepare for Fishing

Before you go down to the dock or set foot on a boat, make sure you have enough equipment for everyone to use.

This might be a no-brainer, but there are a number of things that people forget. You've got your poles, some tackle, and a little live bait.

Those are the fundamentals. While you're picking up those primary things, make sure to get a little more fishing line. Kids have a knack for getting their lines stuck in various things, and the last thing they want to do is to spend time untangling and dealing with their lines.

Dealing with that frustration isn't something that anyone wants to go through, let alone during their first fishing trip. So, get some extra line and just snip the thing when it's causing you too much trouble.

That also means you'll need scissors or a knife to deal use. Make sure you bring enough bait and extra lures to deal with those mishaps as well.

Start Small for Their First Time

Everyone wants their kid to snag a muskie on their first fishing trip, but that might not be a good expectation to set. Catching big fish requires patients, time, and skill.

Smaller fish are a little easier to catch, on the other hand. Fishing for little fish will give you a much better chance of getting a bite and allowing them to feel the excitement of their first catch.

Fishing won't be fun for them if there isn't any action. Kids might not be able to appreciate the peace and quiet of nature while you sit on the boat with your line in the water.

They want the action, so you should try to give it to them.

Point Out the Real Value of Fishing

As we all know but hate to admit, the important thing about fishing is finding enjoyment in the outdoors. You spend most of the time sitting in silence, and the other two percent of the time reeling in fish.

It's just an excuse to spend time in different bodies of water with people you love. That's a tough sell for a kid most of the time. We develop an appreciation for those finer things in adolescence or much later.

That doesn't mean that we can't start laying the foundation now, though. Try to make things enjoyable when there aren't any fish on your line. Maybe you can play some games, talk about the things around you, or incorporate some of the pastimes that you and your family enjoy.

The idea is to make the experience about enjoying company rather than catching fish. If you're successful, they might not even realize that's why they're having fun.

Sure, they'll keep one eye on the bobber, but they'll be enjoying your company just like a seasoned fisherman enjoys the sound of the birds on the lake.

Doing things also eases the blow when you come home empty-handed. It takes the weight off of ill-managed expectations and turns fishing into something that doesn't need a tangible reward.

Don't Complicate Things as Your Parents Did

Maybe your parents had a wonderful time taking you out fishing, but you can empathize with the idea.

Sometimes, we get into our own way of doing the things we enjoy. We might also dislike activities because they seemed stressful when we were kids. For example, many people find that the idea of putting together a tent is a very agonizing one.

In reality, it's pretty simple and easy. We might have seen our parents scrambling to make lunch, unpack camping gear, round the kids up, and manage the checkbook on vacations, though. Putting up the tent might have been the straw the broke that camel's back in that situation, leading you to think that it was really hard.

The same goes for fishing.

Try not to complicate it too much. It's a simple pastime and one that's meant to be enjoyed. So, get out on the water, drop the line, and let the stress flow by when you have any complications.

Lines get tangled and fish fall off of the line. Those things are inconsequential. The important thing is that you're spending quality time with your kids and they're learning from you.

Odds are that they're having a great time, too.

The last thing you want to bring into that situation is frustration and anger. Your kids might not want to go back out fishing with you if things get too heated.

Prepare for the Sun

Only applying sunscreen won't do much against multiple hours spent in the middle of a lake while exposed to harsh UV rays. The experience might be more enjoyable if you take a few extra precautions to ensure that nobody gets burned.

Think about investing in some sun hats and sun-protective clothing like a long sleeved sun shirt, swim shirt, or rashguard. Note that there are UV protection clothing options that truly help prevent difficult sunburns or rashes.

You can wear this clothing while you're swimming, participating in sports, or just sitting in the boat fishing.

Looking for More Summertime Ideas?

Going fishing is one of many great things to do this summer. Getting your kids active and excited about new activities is half of the fun of being a parent.

We're here to help you with more ideas on how to have fun and stay safe from sunburn this summer. Explore our site for all of the summertime information you need to keep yourself and the kids happy. 

January 13, 2023 — Gabriella Lowell