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Taking Kids Fishing
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School's out for the summer! A perfect daytime getaway is a fishing trip to a pond or lake in your neighborhood. Find a fishing spot near you with our Fish Local map, then keep the experience fun and positive with these handy tips:
Keep it simple with easy-to-use tackle.
Just a nightcrawler and bobber is all you need to start. Think small, too – the fish you will likely encounter have mouths about the size of the tip of your finger, so use small hooks, small baits, a quarter-sized bobber and 2- to 4-pound test fishing line.
Find jobs for each child.
Let them feel like they are an important part of the trip and help keep them focused by giving them each a job, like carrying bait or measuring any fish you catch.
Go early in the day when kids are most attentive.
A fishing trip during a skipped naptime or the hottest part of the day is a recipe for disaster. Aim for a morning trip so kids are more focused and when temperatures are cooler -- plus, fish tend to bite better in the early morning.
Give your kids your full attention.
Try to make this "their" trip – show them the basics and let them know you’re proud of how they’re doing. And, especially for small children, keep a constant eye, as it’s easy for a little one to fall in quickly; life jackets are always a good idea for shore fishing.
Keep it short and have a Plan B.
Start with just an hour or two and leave when they start to get fidgety – make sure they remember the positive, fun parts of the trip. Look for a pond where there's nearby distractions like playground equipment. If the fishing is slow, there's plenty of other things to do outdoors.
Bring a camera to record memories!
Even if they don’t get a fish that day, make sure to get shots of them casting and enjoying the special time spent with you. If they reel in their first fish ever, be sure to send in a photo and get them an awesome First Fish certificate.
Go to the DNR web page www.iowadnr.gov/fishlocal to find a fishing spot near you! And don't forget to buy your license and have a great time making memories with your family.