The Secret Lessons Fishing Can Teach Your Kids

fisherman holding rod in action

Renowned for its lakes, Michigan is one of the top destinations in the country for water sports and activities. With thousands of square miles of water and shoreline, it’s said that you’re never far from water. Naturally, fishing is a favorite local pastime. Whether you’re an experienced angler or just getting your feet wet, the Great Lake State is one of the best places to go fishing – and especially if you’re taking your kids for their first trip on the water.

While you may not want to go outdoors in bad weather, the variety of fish species and locations in Michigan offers nearly endless opportunities all year round. You can catch warm-water bass lurking in covered areas near the shore, letting your kids stay dry on firm ground. Or you can take them on a boat and enjoy a different experience out on the water. If you don’t own a boat, there are plenty of new and used fishing boats for sale, as well as charter trips with experienced guides.

Here are some reasons to go fishing with your kids on your next outdoor trip.

Fishing practices planning and organization

Dad and son fishing on lakeGoing on an adventure is all about the excitement for kids. And sometimes there’s nothing like getting involved in the preparation to build up anticipation. You’ll want to prepare a checklist of things you need – not just fishing gear, but snacks and drinks, extra clothes, and other outdoor essentials like insect spray and sunscreen. Getting the kids to help you pack and prepare is going to quickly familiarize them with the things they need for future trips.

When you plan a fishing trip, it pays to do some research too. Find out what fish are common or in season at the lake you’re visiting, and what might be the best time of day and methods of catching.

It’s a fun physical exercise

People tend to think of fishing as mostly just sitting and waiting for a bite. Yet it takes practice and coordination to execute a good cast – and there are things to consider, such as obstructions and standing near other people, that encourage awareness. When they do start biting, the struggle of reeling in even a small fish provides a good core workout for kids.

Fishing is a life skill

In our modern world with all its conveniences, teaching your child to fish may not literally feed them for life – but it is still a survival skill that has been useful to humans for thousands of years. You never know when these things may come in handy. And having that self-sufficiency to fall back on, knowing you can catch your food, can be an early confidence booster.

Gaining a firsthand experience with catching their food is a learning opportunity for your kids – one that will give them a good idea early on about where food comes from, and help develop a respect for the bounty of nature.

It teaches patience

Fishing isn’t about how quickly – or how many – you catch. At the age of about six years or younger, kids should have fun outdoors. Later on, you can take more of a coaching approach and help improve their technique. However, you should always keep it fun and try to develop a mindset of patience and awareness.

Even if you don’t catch a lot, or go out together that often, fishing is about the times you spend together with your kids, stepping away from a world of gadgets and noise to have a hands-on experience with one of man’s oldest outdoor activities.

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