How to

Taking kids fishing

I’VE fished all of my life since I was about 5 years old. It’s a vague memory these days but I do remember fishing for slimey mackerel at Nelson Bay and chasing pike in Port Hacking as a young fella. I graduated to blackfish from the rocks then on to land based game and sportfishing. My father was a mad keen and very talented fisherman so it stood to reason that my brother and I would be introduced to our wonderful sport and follow in his footsteps. Back in the ‘60s it was rangoon or fibreglass rods and nylon monofilament lines. Lure fishing was in it’s infancy so it was usually bait fishing to catch a feed. I learned how to collect green weed, pump nippers, catch crabs and poddy mullet. A trip to the local tackle shop was a big treat and I still remember getting my first fishing rod at 5 years of age. It was a hand crafted rangoon cane outfit with a centrepin reel for estuary fishing. My father built that rod and I wish it had it now as a keepsake. It was followed by several fibreglass rods while I was at school and before I had my own money to spend on fishing gear.


My three kids all started out in a similar fashion at a similar age. Having a father who wrote magazine articles probably put a bit of pressure on my children because they felt they had to learn how to fish. They heard many times that their grandfather and great grandfather had been fishermen but I never pressured them into going fishing or having to catch a fish. Fishing could be whatever they wanted to make it and if they didn’t like it, they were free to pursue another sport or hobby of their choice. When they did go fishing with me I made sure to instil the basics and ethics in them. They were taught how to tie a few knots and how to catch bait. How to bait a hook and how to cast and retrieve. They started out modestly and slowly worked their way up to game and sport fishing. My two girls both have demanding careers these days but they do get out and fish every chance they get. My son Andrew, lives in Port Stephens and does a lot of fishing. He game fishes, chases inshore snapper and jewies from the local beaches.

When I started fishing there were no Pro Staffers or sponsored anglers. There were no fishing shows on television. There was no YouTube, podcasts or social media and no mobile phones to take photos of your catch. You usually went fishing to catch a feed and I was in my mid-teens before I discovered sportfishing and catch and release. You bought and paid for all of your fishing gear back then and had to look after it. Things have gradually changed over the past 40 years to where we are today with some Australian anglers lucky enough to make a living from tackle sponsorship, YouTube videos, podcasts and tournaments. I see many young anglers on social media posting some incredible captures and using the best gear available. It’s great to see them climbing the ranks and being supported by tackle companies. 


That being said, I firmly believe young anglers should be given all the support they can. Whether that’s from a parent or grand parent or even someone they meet out fishing or on social media. I take the a few local kids fishing with me now and then and throw a few lures, etc. their way to help support them. It’s not easy trying to fish while at school and with no income or even working a part time job. This is where parents come in. Getting them some gear for birthdays or Christmas and in return for odd jobs around the house and yard. I know a few local fishos who’s parents don’t even fish so they’ve had to teach themselves or pick up a few tips from anglers like myself. I’m always happy to share some knowledge to the young ones coming up through the ranks.

If you have young kids make an effort to teach them how to fish. There’s no better quality family time than being on the water and enjoying nature. If they don’t take to fishing don’t force it on them but if they do, and most love it, then support them and teach them the basics so they understand the fundamentals of our great sport. It’s something they can enjoy all of their lives. They can be make a career out of it or just catch a feed if need be but they will be the future of our sport so help them in any way you can. 

What's your reaction?

Related Posts

Load More Posts Loading...No More Posts.