iOutdoor says  TAKE ME FISHING!
FISHING WITH KIDS.

Fishing with your children or somebody else’s can be the most rewarding thing you can do for yourself, your family and the kids you take fishing!  You can start someone off on a lifelong journey of fun and enjoyment that they can then pass on to children of their own!  You can fish off the dock, off of a pier, from the beach, on a pond, wadding shallow water or from a boat. There are so many fishing options in Florida making it one of the easiest and most fun things to do.  What equipment do you need? Patience, patience and more patience!  It’s the most important thing you can bring. After all it is the first few fishing experiences that will either hook kids for life, or send them running back to their Playstations and Gameboys. Show them a good time, and kids will put the outdoors on top of their list of preferred activities. If you or your kids are inexperienced fisherman pick an outing that you and they can handle – something not too challenging the first time.  Remember the trip is about having fun- if it turns into a swimming outing, a rock throwing contest or just exploring the shoreline it should be considered mission accomplished if all have a good time!

WHAT TO BRING.

Make sure you and the kids wear proper clothing and bring a change of clothing for everybody, light jackets, flip flops or shoes they can get wet, plenty of sunscreen and hats all around.  A small medical kit with band aids and hand sanitizer is a good idea as well and make sure you pack a lunch, bring plenty of drinks including lots of water and a plenty of snacks- fishing can make a young angler very hungry!  DON’T FORGET THE BUG SPRAY AND SUNSCREEN!  An hour or two out on the water is generally enough for most younger anglers and as kids get older and if they have a liking for the water and fishing then you can plan longer trips.  In these days of video games and indoor electronics getting kids started outside can be a real challenge but it is important to introduce your kids to all that the outdoor has to offer now.

TACKLE

Keep it simple- light tackle rods and reels are the best thing for the beginner and can be bought reasonably under $25 – stay away from the real kids stuff like toy rods and reels, etc they will cause you more aggravation trying to get them to work properly then you will spend fishing with lines in the water.   Do your research before you go, have the proper bait and  gear and know what to use for bait. Make sure you take the kids to the tackle store with you – an old fashioned tackle store can be a wondrous place for a youngun!   Find some kind of seats to bring with you, this is a must, even if it is just five gallon buckets turned upside down standing all day in the hot sun gets old quick.  A pair of needle nose pliers and a hand towel are basically all you need along with extra hooks, sinkers, snap swivels and a bobber or two.  Practice casting in the back yard before you go, this will raise the anticipation and also get everyone use to handling the equipment.

SAFETY

Always, always have all young children wear life preservers. They are going to kick and scream, they are going to tell you how hot they are and how uncomfortable but never give that one up!  And if you are out in a boat, make sure you wear one as well. The kids can do nothing to help save you and if you get into trouble helping them you are no help at all.  You are out there to catch fish not each other – hooks are sharp and eyes and skin are tender make sure you supervise the casting of bait and hook now is the time to teach your child proper casting etiquette, always look behind you before you cast!

And finally this is your opportunity to teach them “catch and release” and how they should make the area where they are fishing “cleaner when they leave than when they arrived”.  A properly planned trip can be as rewarding for the adult as it is for the child. To see the children’s faces when they catch their first fish may bring back childhood memories of your own. By helping to “pass on” the love for fishing, you are helping to ensure that there will be another generation of future anglers.
Good luck and have fun!