“I GOTTA BITE!” Nothing is more fun than catching a fish. The feel of a bite, the bend of the rod and the sound of a screaming reels drag are lifelong memories. We may forget the place, we may forget the fish, but we will never forget how catching a fish made us feel.
Going fishing means going outside. There is no better babysitter than a rod, riverbank and fish. Getting away from indoor routines, video games and stress is healthy. Fishing is more than just catching. It is fellowship, adventure, skill, rules, limits and oh yea, just fun.
When we first start to fish we just want to catch a fish, any fish. Of course, with all fish stories, the fish do tend to grow. Next we try to catch a lot of fish. Then, our goal becomes a BIG fish. With our developing skills, our next target is a specific fish. Eventually, we evolve to become the greatest fisherman of all…the one that takes pride in teaching others how to fish. If you think you are a great fisherman, then prove it. Teach a kid how to fish!
This lifelong sharing is a gift that ensures public waters and wild places for the future. Fishing is a wonderful survival skill that teaches us patience, pride, confidence and joy. If we don’t pass it on, fishing, hunting, camping and outdoor fun will become things that only rich people can afford to do. Here in Montana we are blessed to have public access to our watersheds, parks and public lands. We need all generations and citizens to protect these special treasures in our great state.
Here are some things to remember when you take a kid or friend fishing!
- Make the trip FUN! A few hours and enough at first.
- Rig all your gear ahead of time. Keep it simple. Cane poles or push button reels are fine.
- Start with eager and willing fish. Check with your fishing shops and friends for these hotspots.
- Know your regulations. Fish as you want your kids to fish.
- Bring comforts, snacks and alternatives to fishing. Binoculars are a good idea. No electronics such as cell phones or Gameboys.
- A first aid kit is a good idea. If you bring one, you won’t need it.
- Teach patience. It is called fishing, not catching. A bad day fishing is still a good day.
- Bring a net and a camera. Celebrate the memories. There is a special God that helps kids catch their first fish.
- Wear hats, Polaroid sunglasses and dress comfortably for the weather.
- Teach conservation and respect for our resources. Pick up trash .Leave your spot better than you found it.
Remember that fishing and outdoor sports are highly addictive in a good way. Kids that are bored make poor choices. When your fishing lines tighten, so will your relationship with your kids.