As a parent, there is nothing more memorable than watching your children and their firsts – first word, first steps, first hair cut, first tooth, first lost tooth, first fishing trip, etc.
All three of my kids have experienced their first fishing trip so to help parents getting ready to take their kids on their first fishing trip, here are 17 must have items to take kids fishing:
1. Fishing poles. Our two oldest each got their own little kid fishing poles. Luckily, by the time #3 was ready to fish, our oldest had graduated to a bigger pole.
2. Bait. Papa liked night crawlers, but the kids wouldn’t touch those. They much preferred meal worms. Depending on what you are fishing, you can go one easier and do corn. Either way, you need something on the hook to attract the fish.
3. Boat. In theory, you could fish from a dock or shore, but to get the full experience – a boat really is a must. You don’t have to own said boat. You can rent a boat for the day to have the best fishing experience.
4. Life jackets. First and foremost, life jackets are the law. Secondly, why risk it? (Learn more about boat safety at DiscoverBoating.com)
5. Snacks. I don’t know about your kids, but my kids are always hungry. Have snacks on hand means more time on the water fishing.
6. Water. Please remember to stay hydrated! Your going to be out in the elements and it’s usually pretty warm! We usually bring an entire case of water with us.
7. Breakfast. Okay, this really is optional, but if you are going fishing with a fishing fanatic, chances are, they are going to make you get up before or with the sun. And there is no time for breakfast. It must be eaten on the way or once on the boat.
8. Sandwich making supplies. This relates back to #5. Food means more time on the water. We like to fish from early morning until mid afternoon so having sandwich making supplies with us allows us to stay on the boat for lunch time.
9. Cooler. Keep your water and any other snacks or food items cold.
10. Blanket or towel. There is a high probability that someone is going to end up napping. Being up with the sun makes one especially tired (and cranky) so having a towel or a blanket will help keep them covered from the sun when they finally crash!
11. Sunscreen. Again. Under the sun all day. Sunburn is no joke.
12. Hats. Be extra cautious with the sun. Just be careful. When the boat is in motion, hats are known to try and fly off.
13. Toilet Paper. You may be chuckling and thinking “what the…” but let’s think about this. Option #1 is that you go potty… in the lake (yes it happens.) Chances are, TP will be needed. Option #2 is that there are restrooms available, but the chances that they are equipped with TP – slim to none.
Where we typically fished, there were places along the lake that had campgrounds. We could dock and get out to use the restroom without actually having to go back to the boat landing area. Like mentioned above though, the chances that they have TP already is a hard lesson learned!
14. Tackle box. This isn’t really a “must” but I do recommend having certain “tools” along: extra hooks and or fishing lures in case they get stuck or you lose your line; needle nose pliers for the fish that swallows your hook; pocket knife.
15. Fishing net. This kind of goes with #14, but if you bring nothing else; I highly suggest you bring a fishing net. At some point, some thing (and hopefully not some one) will end up in the water. When we took Buddy fishing, he tossed his entire fishing pole in the water. Fortunately, we were able to recover it!
16. Camera (or phone with camera.) This one sort of speaks for itself, but you will want to save these memories!
17. Fishing license. Most states require a fishing license. I know in Arizona, we need one adult fishing license per child fishing. You can find out more about fishing licenses at DiscoverBoating.com.
Fishing with the kids is so much fun when done right and DiscoverBoating.com is a great resource for those of you who may not be “advanced” in boating!
Tell me, what is your favorite boating activity?