How I connect with my Grand Kids
Through fishing I have formed a unique bond with my three older grandchildren. I have 4 grand children ages 8 months to 11 yrs. As with all grand kids they have different personalities, likes and dislikes. The one common thread that connects the three older ones is fishing. I have fished all my life, in fact my father use to take me fishing in the boat before I could walk. My two sons fish occasionally but as adults they have other interests so they have never instilled the desire to fish in their children. We spend a lot of time with our grandchildren and because of my love for fishing it was natural that I exposed them to fishing at an early age.
There are two keys to a successful fishing trip with children; short duration and catch fish (they don't have to be big). I'm blessed with living on a small semi-private lake that has lots of fish. Being able to walk down and jump on the pontoon boat with all the gear already on board is critical. Catching fish is the next challenge. I have a few suggestions; First, fish with artificial bait. Gulp earth worms (small) work great, there is no mess and if the fish are biting this bait always works. Use a good rod and real. They don't have to be expensive to be good. MC Sports carries Traverse Bay Tackle rods. They are great rods and they are inexpensive. The Super Ultra Lite 6.5 ft rod runs around $25. Put an inexpensive open faced Shimano reel on it and you have a great outfit for any child. You would be surprised how quickly they will learn how to cast.
Make it fun. Most good fishermen can catch fish almost anytime and I've found that if they catch four or five they are satisfied. When they get bored or tired and want to go that means pack up and go. Remember, it is not about YOU so the fish don't have to be big and you don't have to stay out all day. If you'll let them determine the activity level they will love the experience and want to go often.
I've had many great times fishing with them. Sometimes we catch little ones, some times we catch big ones. To them it doesn't matter. Recently we caught two big large mouth bass right off the dock and they were no more excited then the 11 sunfish we caught the day before. If you enjoy fishing include you children or grandchildren.