Fishing is an activity that almost every child can enjoy if they are taught the basic skills by someone who is patient and caring.
All too often I have seen parents attempting to teach a child to fish and the child and the parent become frustrated and neither one comes away happy.
The Trout Unlimited Kids Fishing Day is this Saturday and will take place as usual at Rolater Park in Cave Spring.
This is a day set aside from all other days of the year when children ages 3 thru 12 are allowed to fish in the pond and creek and not have to compete with adults and other older kids.
There will be about a thousand or so fish stocked into the pond and creek for this special day and we hope that all the kids come away with a smile on their faces.
During the 20-plus years that TU has put on the event we have seen thousands of smiling faces with children grinning from ear to ear over the fish that they caught.
The joy they exude from a fish that they caught with their own rod and reel is contagious and sometimes will overwhelm the parents. Sometimes the parents get so involved that they forget that the event is for the kids.
These next paragraphs are for the parents.
Remember that many kids, especially the youngest kids have very little experience fishing and they need patience and understanding.
These kids need to practice before they ever go to the pond.
Put fresh line on the rod they will use and let them practice in the back yard.
Make a game of casting to a target and once they learn to cast become the fish and help them learn to fight and land the fish.
This is very important. Fresh line, a decent rod and reel and some practice will help them catch a fish. Scolding the child for making a bad cast will make them grow to hate fishing.
The second most important thing for the parent is to be prepared.
Have plenty of hooks, bait, sinkers and floats and don’t forget a spare rod. It is unlikely that nearby stores will be stocked with kid friendly equipment so be sure you have what the child needs.
Parents often get so involved in the fishing that the kid wanders off and are not paying attention.
Please let the kid do the fishing and only assist as needed. This is not “parents fishing day” but is for the children and the children only. If it were up to Trout Unlimited and if we had enough volunteers we would have a TU member with each child & the parents would have to watch.
Parents please heed my advice and give the kids a rod that works well, baits that will catch a fish and patience to allow the child to catch a fish on their own.
This is not a fishing tournament, there isn’t a trophy and the reward is the child’s smiling face.
It is important that we teach the child not only to fish, but to also grow to learn the value of clean water.
If the child understands the relationship of the land, the trees, the clarity and purity of the water and how it affects not only the fish but also the people that drink, swim, play and fish in the water they, like the members of TU will protect the resource for their children.
Please remember to register the child. When they register they will get a coupon for a hot dog and coke and will be entered into the drawing for prizes that will be given away throughout the day.
Kid’s Fishing Schedule
l 3- and 4-year-olds: 9:00-9:30 a.m.
l 5- and 6-year-olds: 9:45-10:15 a.m.
l 7-9-year-olds: 10:30-11:15 a.m.
l 10 -12-year-olds: 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
OPEN FOR AGES 3-12 FROM 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.
Kids Fishing Day is this Saturday at Rolator Park in Cave Spring. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and kids must register to be eligible for prizes and the food give-away.