Whilst the metropolitan nature of many modern towns and cities means that children today have less outdoor space in which to play than previous generations, there are still many ways for parents to enable children to access the outdoors. Nowhere, arguably, is this more true than in Australia. When outdoor space at home is limited, fishing is a particularly popular way of having fun in the great outdoors and learning a skill together as a family. Over 700,000 people per year in Queensland alone, participate in fishing for recreation.
The Benefits Of Fishing
When it comes to fishing, the benefits for children are plentiful and often long-lasting. For example, fishing helps children to develop important character traits that will stand them in good stead for later life. These include patience, perseverance, focus, an appreciation of nature and a strong moral code (namely, by abiding by the ‘protected and no-take species’ regulations and not littering or spoiling the surroundings). Other benefits of fishing for kids are that it suits the sporty and non-sporty, can be done alone or in groups, can be started at a young age and has no age limit; the very first trip you make with your child could be the start of many more and the making of a lifelong hobby.
Things To Consider When Planning Your First Family Fishing Trip
As with any excursion with kids, planning and preparation are key to a successful fishing trip. Be sure to:
1. Establish the rules and regulations for the particular fishing area you would like to visit.
2. Familiarise yourself with the different types of fish you may come across, so that you can identify any fish you or the children catch.
3. Bring appropriate equipment. Use bobbers and live bait instead of lures and, if need be, use smaller gear to help the child feel more confident.
4. Pack plenty of sun cream, food, drink and - depending on the time of year - good quality wet weather gear or insect repellent.
5. Take regular breaks, whether that be to have a snack or for the kids to just let off some steam every so often and refocus.
Once you have arrived, scope out the area and look for a fishing spot that is particularly child-friendly. Ideally, settle for an area that has lots of fish, in order to keep the children encouraged and motivated (it is their first time, after all).
And last but not least, have FUN!