When I was a kid my father Poppee used to take me fishing. The only problem was that neither of us knew how to fish. I was the one that had the urge to spend all of my free time fishing and when you are five years old, you have a lot of free time! All I needed was a pole, some bobbers, hooks, worms and some water.
We spent a lot of time fishing and not catching fish until we met up with a fellow janitor, neighbor and my honorary Grandpa, Mike Dozer. Mike had a house on Pistakee Lake in Northern Illinois, a little 14' Sears boat with a Ted Williams 9.9 outboard and all the tackle and know-how we needed to catch crappie, catfish, carp and bluegill.
Ted Williams was a hall of fame baseball player and lover of the outdoors!
We did it all. Caught fish with cane poles, spinning rods, baitcasters and trotlines. Then we cleaned 'em and fried 'em up. We swam and washed up with a bar of soap right in the lake, made big fires and slept outside. After Mike passed away ten years later, Poppee and I expanded our horizons and bought our own boat and figured fishing out for ourselves using Mike's teachings.
Sears Ted Williams Edition boat was a fish catcher!
Set the kids up with real fishing tackle
Once Summer is here, it's time to take the kids fishing. And if you are going to take them fishing, there better be a lot of catching...especially nowadays when you are competing against big screen TV's video games and the evil Smartphone!
Ever notice that you see framed photos of people holding up fish with big smiles on their faces, but you never see a photo of someone with their flatscreen TV? It's all about the memories...
Kids could care less about what type of fish they catch, they just want a tug on their line. Since kids nowadays have little patience, don't start them out with a crummy Snoopy or Batman pole, let them use a real spinning rod and spend some time showing them how to use it.
Sure it might be harder to cast initially, but those cheapo SpongeBob spin casters are made poorly, constantly tangle and will fall apart if you hook a decent fish. You will spend more time trying to fix them than actually fishing.
Start them out right with a good spinning combo, here's a link explaining why.
The Best Way to Catch Panfish
Panfish are great starter fish. To a new angler, the size of the fish doesn't matter, what matters is quantity. Kids need to catch fish after fish to keep their interest. The best way to catch panfish is with small sized baits that fit right in the fish's mouth. They match what these fish are eating.
Walt takes the girls fishing for a little family fun!
Cast it around shoreline structure like rocks, fallen trees and weed edges. Every small pond, lake or slow moving river has some panfish action near shore. Whether you are fishing from a boat or just walking around a local pond, give it a try.
Nothing makes a kid happier than catching a fish!
Once they become a little bit better fishermen, it's time to move up to larger species like bass or walleye. Obviously these fish are harder to catch than panfish, but if you give them a lure that is easy to use, cast and catch fish then the fun begins.
Easy-To-Fish Bass Lures
One of the easiest to use lures for bass is a pre-rigged plastic worm. The Worm, made by Custom Jigs & Spins is easy to rig and easy to fish. Just tie on a ball bearing swivel to the end of your line, pinch a split shot lead weight or two down on your line and then put the loop of the pre-rig line onto the swivel snap.
The Worm is really easy to fish, also. Simply cast it out, let it sink a little and then real it in slowly. Slow is the key.
The Worm has the right action for bass and is easy to use
When a bass hits The Worm, the fun begins! Bass put up a great fight. They will go airborne in shallow water and generally try every trick to get free so be ready!
Big Bass make big boy happy!
The Worm comes in a weedless or regular version and four, six and eight inch lengths. The four inch will catch you panfish as well as bass and the larger sizes are mostly for bass. Best of all, the corkscrew action of The Worm gets immediate strikes from any bass in the area.
When it comes to walleye, the easiest lure to fish is a weedless jig. First, it's easy to fish...you can't loose it since it won't snag up. Second, it flat out catches walleye. Finally, you can use it with live bait of a variety of plastic imitators like the AuthentX plastic Ringworm.
Walleye are the king of the river fish!
The Draggin' Jig from B Fish N Tackleis not just for fishing around weeds. You can use it around any snaggy area, where walleye and other species hide. Bait it up with a half crawler slid up nose first so that the wire keeper will hold the Nightcrawler tight to the head of the jig. Once your kids get more advanced they can use plastic like that AuthentX Ringworm in place of the crawler.
A river is a great place to take your kid fishing in the summer. Rivers will hold a variety of fish, but the walleye is the king. If you are shore fishing, Draggin" Jig is great to cast out in the current and reel in slowly. Little twitches of your rod tip will entice those walleye to bite!
The One-Two Gamefish/Catfish Punch
When I'm fishing with the kids and they are catching panfish, I'll have some heavier lines set for catfish or carp. Bait of choice for catfish is a whole nightcrawler or some stink bait.
My rig consists of a sliding egg sinker slid on the line first, tied to a swivel and then a two foot section of line tied to a hook. This bottom rig allows the fish to take the bait without resistance and then when you see the tip move, lift the rod, set the hook and hand the pole to one of your kids!
Walt's daughters Ashley and Alyssa are happy with every fish they catch...even a catfish!
Summertime is truly the perfect time to do some fishing with the family!
Nothing is better than spending a few hours or a whole day out on the water fishing with your kids. But remember to bring along sunscreen, snacks and cold drinks and leave those smartphones at home!