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Fishing isn’t just a favorite pastime of ours here in Florida.  It’s a nationwide bonding activity for you and your children.  Sometimes it can be difficult to pass on knowledge to the next generation.  Whether you are a seasoned fisherman who isn’t sure how to get back to the beginning, or a newbie looking to grow with your children, these steps will help you teach your kids to fish.

Step One:  Make it an Adventure

There are so many fun adventures leading up to the actual moment of fishing.  Make each moment count.  Plan a special day to shop for fishing gear and equipment.  Take your time finding the right fishing spot.  You can stop into local supply stores and find out the new locations, or ride around on your boat looking for the perfect place.  Either way, including your kid in the search makes it an adventure, so forgo your usual spot for one that you can find together.

Step Two:  Teach Them Safety

As important as it is for your kids to have fun, safety needs to be a top priority as well.  Start with boat safety.  Teach them how to find a life jacket that fits them, and how to secure it properly. Then, show them the safety methods when fishing. Show them the hooks and let them know you will be handling them.  Let them know not to lean too far over the water.  Covering all of this before you get started will help you to remind them during the day, rather than teach as you go and risk them being distracted.

Step Three:  Show Them the Basics

Now, it’s time to show your kids the proper way to fish.  Take them out and show them how to grip the rod, and cast the line.  If you’re not an experienced fisher, you can learn different casting methods from experienced fishermen, take them out on a charter, or sign both of you up for fishing lessons.  If you are experienced, make sure to start with the simple stuff.  Instructors recommend a side arm cast for little ones, as it tends to be safer.

Step Four:  Reward Achievements

Make sure you bring a camera so you can document your kid’s first catch.  Make a day of it by celebrating with a small treat or a trip to their favorite fishing store for more bait that they can use on the next trip.

Step Five:  Be Patient

Most likely your child will take some time to learn the most basic steps.  While this may seem like a given, it can be frustrating if they are stuck on the basics when you are excited to show them the fun stuff.  You don’t have to cover everything in one day.  Take your time, be patient, and when they start to get antsy, call it a day.  They’ll enjoy the experience more if they remember a fun-filled afternoon than if they can only recall a long day.

Follow these steps, and your kid is not only sure to learn, but sure to enjoy the process!  Remember, making the experience fun will ensure many fishing trips for years to come.

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