tips for taking a youngster fishing
Angling technique, gear and loads of patience are
the order of the day
KETCHUM, Okla. — The recipe for teaching a
little person to fish includes one dash of angling technique, two
or three tablespoons of gear and several cups of patience.
Jessica Rolando, 5, was on her first salmon trip
on New York's Salmon River when she caught and released a 24-pound
This is the advice of the organization Hooked on
Fishing International (HOFI), which has helped introduce more than
6 million youngsters and their family members to the sport of
This year, HOFI's 16th, the organization will help
conduct more than 1,500 Wal-Mart Kids All-American Derbies and put
a rod and reel into the hands of another 250,000 young people.
Here are their top-10 tips, the same recipe that
HOFI shares with thousands of adult volunteers who plan and
supervise the fishing derbies nationwide.
1. Tackle: Size the rod and reel to the
child. Small bobbers and small hooks encourage more fish nibbles
and — the supreme thrill for a youngster — a tug on the line.
2. Bait. Yes, for safety's sake and because
of the yuck factor, the adult may have to handle the protein. Use
worms or minnows. HOFI records show these two baits catch 80
percent of the fish at the Wal-Mart Kids All American Fishing
3. Food. Never, ever forget the snacks and
drinks. If you do, turn the car around and go back for them. Food
IS that important. Better bring some wet wipes to cleanse face and
fingers before and after snacks.
4. Camera. Fishing is all about making and
preserving memories. Bring the camera and an extra roll of film.
If your camera has a built-in flash, use it with every shot, even
in bright sunlight. The flash will eliminate shadows on young,
5. Life jacket. In a boat, youngsters are
required to wear a life jacket. That's the law. On the bank of a
pond or stream, they should wear one, too. That's common sense.
6. Sunscreen. Bring it. Use it. On the
water, the sun can do double the damage because harmful rays not
only come from above, they are also reflected from the water. This
is underlined by the fact that young skin is prone to sunburn.
7. Insect repellent. This is almost as
important as the sunscreen, and always a good thing to have on
hand. Biting bugs can veto any fishing trip. Fight back.
8. Location. Fish close to home. That's the
rule of thumb dictated by the generation whose favorite phrases
include, "Are we there yet?" and "When are we going
9. Timing. As they say, timing is
everything. Let the young angler decide when enough is enough. If
anything, it's better to quit before alarm bells ring. That keeps
desire in the bank for the next fishing trip. Time your fishing
for the most comfortable time of the day, usually morning.
10. Patience. Three or more level cups of
this vital ingredient are critical to a successful fishing trip
and the creation of a new fishing partner.
This is the same advice that HOFI dispenses to the
volunteer adult groups and parents who do the hard work of
planning and supervising the Wal-Mart Kids All-American Fishing
To find the fishing derby closest to them, parents
can go to HOFI's website and use the Derby Locator feature.
"All you do is enter your zip code and the
Derby Locator will search the database of derbies and list the
nearest event, location, the name of the contact person and his or
her phone number," said Gordon Holland, executive director.
here for Wal-Mart's "Take a Kid Fishing" program info...